The firm said, "Worldwide PC shipments surpassed 88.3 million units in the third quarter of 2010, a 7.6% increase from the third quarter of 2009, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. These third quarter results were below Gartner's earlier market outlook. Gartner had expected third quarter PC shipments to grow 12.7%."
Gartner explained that back-to-school sales were slow, as were sales in the U.S. and Europe. Low-end PCs and laptops had particularly sharp drops in demand. Gartner's figures conflicted with its earlier comments about the impact of tablet PCs, like the Apple (AAPL) iPad. The research operation said that consumers had, in some cases, deferred purchases of PCs as they considered tablet products.
The data confirms earnings warnings issued by Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD) last quarter that their numbers were being effected by relatively weak demand for the PCs that use their processors.