Though global PC shipments saw a double-digit gain in the first half of 2008, slow growth stateside showed symptoms of an economic slowdown, with the US market slipping to a year-over-year growth rate of only 3.5%, according to research firm IDC.

HP remained the top supplier of PCs worldwide with more than 13 million shipments in the first quarter, an increase of 17.4 percent compared with the first quarter of 2007. Moreover, Dell's move of placing more of its PCs on retail shelves seems to be helping it gain ground on HP, with the company shipping nearly 11 million PCs during the quarter.

Apple did not rank among the top five makers in global sales. However, the company has been making solid gains in the US market since switching to Intel's x86 platform in 2006. According to IDC, Apple ranked fourth in the United States with more than 950,000 shipments, an increase of 25 percent compared to the same period last year.