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Analysts Report ?Healthy PC Market? -- For Now

Hewlett-Packard continued to lead its rivals in 2007 worldwide PC shipments, while Dell showed signs of recovery after a less-than-stellar year, according to reports from Gartner and IDC.Overall, global PC shipments increased 13.4 percent over shipments in 2006 to 271.2 million units last year, Gartner said. IDC pegged growth at 14.3 percent to 269 million units. Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba followed Dell and HP on the analysts? respective rankings.

Both firms cited Dell?s year-over-year Q4 growth at around 15 percent, translating to an average 5.4 million units shipped. Gartner said the numbers also mark the second consecutive quarter of year-to-year growth for the vendor, which serves millions of SMB customers. It attributed the growth, in part, to falling notebook prices.

IDC said it expects growth to continue this year and into next, followed by a slowdown. "Going forward, demand could soften further if bad news over the economy persists and consumer confidence worsens," said David Daoud, research manager for personal computing at IDC.InformationWeek