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The PC market is starting to grow after a rocky start in 2009 according to new research from iSuppli.

The PC market is starting to grow after a rocky start in 2009 according to new research from iSuppli.

Global PC shipments in the second quarter amounted to 67.2 million units. While this was down 4.3% from 70.2 million units in the second quarter of 2008, it was up by 1% from 66.5 million units in the first quarter of 2009.

“PC shipments managed to rise in the second quarter on the back of sequential growth in sales of notebooks, despite quarterly declines in desktops,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms research, for iSuppli.

“iSuppli predicts continued sequential growth in the third and fourth quarters, driven by the slow improvement in the worldwide economy, along with the arrival of technology drivers, such as Microsoft’s new client operating system, Windows 7. However, this growth had been expected and doesn’t change iSuppli’s forecast of a 4% decline in global PC shipments for the full year of 2009.”

The launch of Windows 7 will be a major positive for the PC industry, prompting a huge advertising and media campaign from Microsoft that will put PCs in high-profile positions in mainstream electronic and print media.

“This advertising blitz will get more people thinking about PCs,” Wilkins observed. “This can only be a plus for the market.”

Shipments had declined by 14% sequentially in the first quarter of 2009 and by 2% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Because of a strong rise by Acer and the continued decline of Dell, the market share gap between the two companies continues to dwindle. Number-three Acer in the second quarter of 2009 trailed number-two Dell by only 1.2pp, down from a 6.5 point gap during the same period in 2008.

Dell’s second-quarter shipments amounted to nine million units, down 23.3% from 11.2 million units during the same period in 2008. In contrast, Acer’s second-quarter shipments surged to 8.2 million units, up 23.3% from 6.7 million units a year earlier.

“Acer’s rise is due to strong performance from its notebook business, clearly capitalizing on the demand for mobile computing,” Wilkins said. “Meanwhile, Dell continues to suffer because of the weakness in the corporate market, despite showing improvements in its consumer business.”

Hewlett-Packard (HP) remained the top PC OEM for the twelfth successive quarter, with shipments of 13.4 million units, up 2% from 13.1 million units in the second quarter of 2008, giving it a market share of 20%.

“HP is not only maintaining its leadership position but is also gaining market share due to its robust notebook business, which has outgrown the overall notebook segment for the past two quarters,” Wilkins said.

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