SEATTLE (Reuters) - Personal computer shipments fell 1.7 percent in the July to September period from a year ago, tech research firm IDC said on Wednesday, marking the 10th straight quarter of declines but beating IDC's forecast of a 4.1 percent drop.
Gartner, a rival research firm, put the decline at 0.5 percent.
IDC's 1.7 percent decrease matches the April to June quarter, equaling the smallest decline since PC shipments started tumbling in early 2012 as sales of netbooks collapsed in the face of new competition from tablets.
U.S. and European shipments increased, boosted by companies buying PCs in bulk, which helped the top three PC makers Lenovo <0992.HK>, Hewlett-Packard Co <HPQ.N> and Dell make market share gains. But shipments in Asia, the world's biggest computer market, continued to decline, offsetting the gains in other areas.
(Reporting by Bill Rigby)