PC shipments in the quarter rose 10.3% from the same period a year ago to 88.1 million units, iSuppli reported Friday. Compared to the second quarter, shipments rose 7%. In a year-to-year comparison, the growth rate of PC shipments fell to less than half of the first and second quarters, which posted increases of 22.8% and 22.9%, respectively, according to iSuppli. The trend is expected to continue in the fourth quarter, which is expected to see a 5.3% increase year to year.
Nevertheless, shipments in the third quarter met expectations, and the increase was seen as a positive, given the signs of trouble that included warnings issued by Taiwanese motherboard makers, word of declining exports from China, and mounting concerns over consumer spending, iSuppli said.
"Even with consumer confidence shaken by government austerity measures, individuals and businesses continued to purchase PCs in the third quarter, driving up global shipments smartly," iSuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins said in a statement.
Shipments of each PC category -- desktops, notebooks and entry-level servers -- increased quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year in the third quarter. Desktop PCs generated the strongest sequential growth, rising 11%. The increase is an indication that corporate spending on PCs remained strong.
However, laptop shipments, an indicator of consumer spending, rose a more tepid 4% sequentially and a more impressive 15% from a year ago. However, the latter number was considerably less than the first and second quarter, when year-to-year growth was 42% and 41%, respectively.