PC market grows in 3Q, but sluggishly, firms say

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Personal computer shipments continued to grow in the third quarter but at a sluggish pace, intensifying concerns about the industry’s dimming prospects going into the all-important holiday shopping season.

New numbers reported Wednesday by market research firms IDC and Gartner Inc. are likely to dampen expectations for upcoming quarterly results from PC makers and their suppliers.

The biggest maker of PC processors, Intel Corp., is scheduled to report its third-quarter numbers on Tuesday.

The prospects already weren’t bright.

PC sales have been in a prolonged funk as anemic demand and rival technologies such as tablets and smartphones have dragged down demand in the U.S. and Europe. Growth in Asian economies isn’t enough to offset sluggishness elsewhere.