Shipments here dropped in the third quarter by 11.3 per cent compared to the same period a year before — which was better than expected

For some time the personal computer market has been under siege as buyers have decided for a number of reasons to put off spending on new PCs.

Money is going instead into tablets and smart phones. In some cases people were holding off until Windows 8 was finally released (and then held back when reviews were less than glowing).

But the trend may be slowing. According to preliminary figures issued Wednesday by IDC Canada, PC sales dropped in the third quarter by 11.3 per cent compared to the same period a year before.

However, that’s better than expected and may be a sign that PC demand is increasing.

“The Canadian PC market is finally starting to emerge from the fog,” concluded Tim Brunt, program manager for IDC Canada’s personal computing unit.

Going forward, sales of desktop and laptop computers will slowly increase, IDC predicts, so that by the second quarter of next year shipments will be up 1.58 per cent compared to Q2 of this year. After that, however, they will slip and barely stay positive compared to the year before.

Some manufacturers will have smiles on their faces: Lenovo saw sales here jump 11 per cent in the quarter, Dell saw sales go up 4.8 per cent over the same period last year, while second place Apple solidified its position over Dell with a 2.6 per cent increase in market share.

On the other hand, some manufacturers will have grey faces from the figures: Leader Hewlett-Packard suffered a 13.1 per cent drop in PC sales in the quarter compared to the same period a year ago, while fifth place Acer saw sales plunge 21.5 per cent year over year.

The numbers didn’t compare Q3 sales with Q2.

Total PC shipments here hit 1,483,786 units during the quarter. Broken out by category, portable PC shipments (the biggest part of the total with almost 990,000 units) continued to slow with a 13 per cent drop compared to Q3 last year. Shipments of desktop computers dropped 7 per cent year over year.

Still, IDC Canada says portable PC shipments are “becoming the most interesting area to watch.” Apple took 19.6 per cent of that market in the quarter before a product refresh. Traditional portable heavyweights HP and Acer saw declines of 20 per cent, year over year, the researcher said, but Dell and Lenovo saw gains of 22 per cent and 15.6 per cent year over year.

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