Shipments rose 13.8% from the second quarter to 1.9 million units, while revenue grew by 10.2% to $10.7 billion. The increase "suggests that the market as a whole is showing signs of stabilization as we move toward the end of 2009," Gartner analyst Jeffrey Hewitt said in a statement.
Nevertheless, comparing the third quarter with the same period a year ago showed how far the market had fallen during the economic recession that forced many businesses to delay computer purchases. On a year-to-year basis, shipments were down 17.1% and revenue fell 15.5%.
IBM led the market in revenue with a 31.7% share, followed by Hewlett-Packard with 30.2%. Rounding out the top five were Dell, 13.4%; Sun Microsystems, 7.4%; and Fujitsu, 5.2%.
With the exception of Dell, all the other top five vendors saw double-digit declines in revenue year-to-year. Sequentially, however, only Sun Microsystems saw a decline.
In server shipments, HP led with a 32.1% share, followed by Dell, 22.8%. Rounding out the top five were IBM, 12.8%; Fujitsu, 3.5%; and Sun Microsystems, 2.6%. All five vendors saw shipments fall year-to-year. Compared to the second quarter, however, all the computer makers saw an increase in shipments.
In the second quarter, worldwide server shipments fell 28% year-to-year, as revenue dropped 29%. At the time, Hewitt said the market remained "constrained on a worldwide level," as a result of the economic downturn.