PC sales are finally recovering

Someone is buying computers. Connecticut-based research firm Gartner said PC shipments are up 27% to 84.3 million units in the first quarter, surpassing most analysts’ estimates. Helped by sales of all-in-one designs and touch screen displays, it seems the PC market has bounced back from the year-earlier period when sales dropped almost 7 percent to the lowest levels since 2001. Intel, which recently reported strong earnings for the quarter, forecasted a rise in sales and a rebound in technology spending. Sales in emerging markets played a key role in this recovery.

Hewlett-Packard’s sales grew 20% last quarter, allowing them to maintain their position as the market leader in the PC industry. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Acer, which passed Dell in 2009 to take the No. 2 spot, saw a stunning 54% growth in shipments worldwide. Boosted by the iPad’s hype, Apple’s shipments rose 34% last quarter, making them fifth behind HP, Acer, Toshiba, and Dell in the U.S. However, with only 1.4 million units sold, they have yet to become a significant player in global markets.