Gartner: PC Shipments Jump 3.2 Percent as Consumers Remain Mesmerized with Media Tablets

Despite what PC fatalists would have you believe, there's still a market for desktop and notebook systems. Sure, the PC market isn't growing like gangbusters at the moment, but it is growing nonetheless. That's saying something when the whole world seems preoccupied with tablets, smartphones, handheld games systems, and other non-PC devices.

The number crunchers over at Gartner tallied worldwide PC shipments at 91.8 million units for the third quarter of 2011, which represents a 3.2 percent increase from the same quarter one year ago. That wasn't quite up to Gartner's expectations, which predicted the market would grow by 5.1 percent, but at least PCs are still moving in the right direction.

Source: Flickr (Tim O'Bryan)

"The inventory buildup, which slowed growth the last four quarters, mostly cleared out during the third quarter of this year; however, the PC industry has been performing below normal seasonality," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "As expected, back-to-school PC sales were disappointing in mature markets, confirming that the consumer PC market continues to be weak. The popularity of non-PC devices, including media tablets, such as the iPad and smartphones, took consumers' spending away from PCs."

That didn't seem to affect HP, which held onto its crown as the world leader in PC sales, in part because the OEM "grew faster than the industry average." Another OEM that performed well is Lenovo, which stole the No. 2 spot for Dell, a position Lenovo has never been in before.