Demand for computers is continuing to slip as consumers turn to tablets and smartphones instead but, according to the latest IDC figures, demand for Apple's desktops and notebooks as well as for Chromebooks, is on the up.
Worldwide, some 78.5 million computers were shipped over the past quarter. And while that's a much better figure than IDC had forecast, the research and analysis company's data shows that it's still a decline of 1.7% compared to the same time last year.
In fact in the US, where the back-to-school market is huge business, demand for portable computers in particular was actually up 9% year over year. And while overall shipments to the country were up 2.6% from the last quarter, IDC's figures suggest that interest in desktop systems is still weak.
"PC shipment growth in the United States remained slightly faster than most other regions in the third quarter and overall the U.S. PC market came in right on forecast with 4.3% year-on-year growth. Solid back-to-school sales, a strong performance from key vendors, the continued acceptance of Chromebooks, some commercial uptick from Windows XP to Windows 7 migration, and the slowdown in tablet sales are among the factors that helped the PC market to continue on its positive growth rate trajectory," said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computing.
A similar trend was noted in Europe where shoppers were most drawn to notebooks running Windows 8.1.
Lenovo is still the world's leading PC maker, having shipped 15.7 units over the past three months, giving it a 20 trend market share.
However, demand for Apple computers seems to be increasing even though overall demand for notebooks and desktops is falling. IDC's figures show that Apple shipped 4.98 million computers, up an estimated 8.9% on the same time last year, making it the world's fifth largest PC maker despite only offering premium products.
IDC speculates that this impressive performance could be a direct result of Apple's decision to trim the prices of a number of its computers -- such as the MacBook Air -- and to add a more affordable entry-level iMac to its range.