According to research firms IDC and Gartner Inc., computer shipments rose at the fastest rate in nearly two years during Q3 of this year, a development which raises expectations for another strong performance during this year's final months. Sales of portable computers drove much of the 15.5 percent increase in global PC shipments between July and October, especially in Europe, according IDC, based in Framingham, Mass. The firm reported 66.9 million PCs shipped, up from 57.9 million a year ago. "The appeal of portable PCs in all regions continues to propel the PC market at a remarkable pace and sets the stage for a very strong fourth quarter," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's worldwide quarterly PC tracker.
Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. pegged the growth at a slightly slower 14.4 percent, with 68.5 million PCs shipped in the third quarter, up from 59.8 million in the same period a year ago. The discrepency results from the two research firms using slightly different measurement methods. However, the percentage gains reported by both firms still were the largest for any quarter since the fourth quarter of 2005, when IDC recorded a 15.5 percent increase - the same rate as the latest quarter - and Gartner came in at 15.8 percent. The last time IDC reported a faster rate was in the third quarter of 2005, when growth was 17.4 percent.