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Global PC shipments saw record growth in third quarter, analysts say

It's the highest growth the sector has seen in seven years, according to Canalys.

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Lenovo placed first on a ranking of global PC shipments in the third quarter of 2019. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The worldwide PC market grew 4.7% in the third quarter of 2019 to 70.9 million units, the highest growth for the sector since the first quarter of 2012, according to a Thursday report by Canalys. 

Lenovo and HP ranked first and second, with the former shipping 17.3 million units and the latter 16.7 million units. Dell came in third place, shipping 12.1 million PCs in the third quarter. Apple landed in fourth place with 5.4 million shipments, and Acer in fifth with 4.9 million. 

Some factors that contributed to the increase include upgrades to Windows 10 and stores stocking up inventory for the holidays, Canalys says. Economic conditions also played a role. In the US, PC vendors are increasing production orders ahead of tariffs that are slated to affect $37 billion worth of Chinese notebooks and tablets. That impact is temporary, but for the time being has helped the PC supply chain, which will likely continue to see positive performance into the fourth quarter, Canalys says. 

Gartner on Thursday also said worldwide PC shipments grew 1.1% in the third quarter, totaling 68 million units. That's an increase from 67 million units in the third quarter of 2018. 

"The Windows 10 refresh cycle continued to be the primary driver for growth across all regions, although the magnitude of the impact varied according to local market conditions and the stage of the refresh cycle," Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "For example, in Japan, PC shipments grew 55% in the third quarter of 2019, driven by the Windows 10 refresh cycle and a pending sales tax change. This strong growth helped propel the total worldwide PC market to growth."

Kitagawa added that the US-China trade war didn't have a significant impact on PC shipments in the third quarter, since the date for the possible rise in tariffs was delayed to December

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