According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments climbed 27.4% on-year to 84.3 million units in the first quarter of 2010, exceeding the research firm's forecast of a 22% growth. The unexpected surge is attributed to a "robust recovery" in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa PC market, which increased 24.8%. Other regions also fared well, with all of them recording double-digit growths.

HP still reigns over the competition, accounting for 18.2% of global shipments in the recently passed quarter -- but some Asian rivals are picking up steam. Acer, for instance, came in second place with 14.2% market share and is steadily closing in on HP's lead. Meanwhile, Dell claimed bronze with 12.1% of the market, Lenovo had 8.3%, Asus and Toshiba tied at 5.5%, and "others" made up 36.2% of the pie.

The above-mentioned companies were similarly ranked in US shipments, with HP at 25%, Dell had 23.4%, Acer 15.6%, Toshiba 8.6%, Apple 8.0%, and others claimed 19.3%.