SEATTLE — Worldwide shipments of personal computers edged back up in the third quarter, according to industry researchers, a promising sign for the industry as it heads into the holiday shopping season.
Last year's holiday quarter was the worst in about six years, and PC shipments declined in the first half of 2009 as the recession inhibited spending by consumers and businesses.
On Wednesday, however, analysts at IDC said PC shipments from July through September rose 2.3 percent from the same period of last year, as consumers kept buying the low-cost laptops and tiny netbooks that have been the bright spot in the industry.
The Framingham, Mass.-based research group said it had expected shipments to fall nearly 3 percent. A robust back-to-school shopping season and ahead-of-schedule government spending in China and Taiwan helped drive the surprise results.
IDC said such growth just ahead of the Oct. 22 launch of Microsoft Corp.'s new PC operating system, Windows 7, bodes well for the fourth quarter and next year. The researchers expect to see more businesses replacing aging PCs in the middle of next year.