Strong demand for portable models helped drive worldwide computer shipments up 17 percent in the fourth quarter, the technology research firm IDC reported.
A report on Wednesday by another firm, Gartner Inc, put quarterly growth at a more modest 16 percent. Gartner's measurement methods differ slightly from IDC's.
Dell Inc, the world's largest PC maker, posted a slightly higher growth rate than the industry as a whole and expanded its lead over its rivals, IDC reported.
Global shipments totaled 61 million in the October-December period, up 17.1 percent from last year's fourth quarter, according to IDC.
For the full year, shipments totaled 208.6 million, up 16.4 percent from 2004, IDC said.
Gartner's report counted 62.8 million computers shipped in the fourth quarter, compared with 54.2 million in the comparable quarter a year earlier. Gartner put the full-year growth rate at 15.3 percent.
IDC said the increasing popularity of laptop computers offset general weakness in consumer spending in the fourth quarter amid rising interest rates and higher fuel prices.
Gartner said last year was the first year in which computer shipments in the US fell below shipments in a combined market encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Those markets, which technology research firms lump together in comparisons with other global regions, accounted for 72.6 million shipments, compared with 67.2 million in the US.
IDC said Dell increased its share of industry computer shipments to 17.2 percent in the fourth quarter from 16.8 percent a year ago, with an overall growth rate of more than 20 percent and more than 50 percent in portable PCs.
Hewlett-Packard Co posted 15.8 percent growth and saw its market share dip to 15.7 percent from 15.8 percent a year ago, IDC said.
China's Lenovo Group Ltd