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The ‘dead’ PC market is enjoying impressive growth lately, research firm says

Please excuse us as we put a spin on a famous Mark Twain quote when we say that claims of the PC market’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

According to market research firm IDC, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer, and Apple all have experienced significant growth in the worldwide PC market between the third quarter of 2013, and the third quarter of this year.

IDC’s findings indicate that Lenovo’s PC shipments grew 11.2 percent year over year, moving roughly 15.7 million PCs in the third quarter of 2014 alone. That gives Lenovo 20 percent of the global PC market in the same quarter.

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HP, which just announced a split, comes in second place in the third quarter market share race, occupying 18.8 percent of the pie. HP shipped roughly 14.7 million PCs, an increase of 5.1 percent over the third quarter of 2013.

Dell, which takes third place here, shipped 10.4 million PCs in the third quarter of 2014, a growth rate of 9.7 percent compared to the same period last year. Dell rode that wave to take 13.3 percent of the PC market in the third quarter.

Rounding out the top five are Acer and Apple. The former’s shipments rose by 11.4 percent in the third quarter this year over last year, while the latter’s shipments spiked by 8.9 percent over the same stretch of time.

Overall, roughly 78.5 million PCs were shipped in the third quarter of this year alone. While that’s a year-on-year decline of -1.7 percent, that’s much better than the predicted decline of -4.1 percent.

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So, why the uptick? IDC lists multiple reasons, including the back to school shopping season, the end of Windows XP support, the rise of Chromebooks, and the wider availability of cheap systems as catalysts for improved performance.

However, IDC does issue some words of caution as well.

“The current growth of lower-priced systems, while encouraging in the short run, brings concern for the long term viability of vendors to adequately remain in the PC space,” IDC Senior Research Analyst Jay Chou says.

Nevertheless, one of the reasons we find this growth to be impressive is because it’s occurring despite the fact that most of the systems that are being sold feature Windows 8 and 8.1, which most PC users strongly dislike.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see what the release of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, along with the upcoming holiday shopping season, can do for the market in the fourth quarter.