Manufacturers shipped about 270 million personal computers last year, an increase of 13 to 14 per cent, according to IT industry research.

Two market research firms, International Data Corp. and Gartner Inc., announced their quarterly PC shipment numbers Wednesday, with nearly identical totals.

IDC, based in Framingham, Mass., said in its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker that total shipments reached 269 million units last year, 14.3 per cent higher than in 2006.

Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner, which is about to publish its PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region report, announced preliminary figures Wednesday. Gartner estimates worldwide shipments last year were 271.2 million units, up 13.4 per cent from 2006.

Both companies said Hewlett Packard Development Co. LP of Palo Alto, Calif. led the market, with Round Rock, Tex.-based Dell Inc. in second place and Acer Inc. placing third. Acer of Taipei, Taiwan had more than eight per cent of units, due in part to its acquisition of Gateway Inc.’s consumer business.