A new report from IDC states worldwide PC shipments struggled to meet expectations in the third quarter of 2008, with companies like China's Lenovo struggling as spending slowed.

According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, worldwide shipments were up 15.8% year over year, which was slightly less than projected. Strong results in Europe, Middle East, and Africa helped offset tepid growth in other emerging regions, while the U.S. and Japan held steady.

Ongoing economic pressures in Asia, excluding Japan, were being felt even before the recent financial crisis and kept the region slightly below forecasts for the quarter. But growth remains in the double-digit range, and even if global economic uncertainty further erodes the region in future quarters, domestic demand in key markets like China may keep the momentum going.

Asia-based Acer has remained focused on emerging regions and portables, helping it to claim global shipments of more than 10 million units. Like other vendors, U.S. sales were down but the continued early embrace of ultra low-cost PCs helped Acer maintain strong growth in other regions around the world. Japan's Toshiba reported annual growth of 24%, less than its second quarter 2008 growth.

But Lenovo struggled to gain traction as small business spending slowed. Its worldwide annual growth of 7.7% was helped by solid results from its home turf in Asia, excluding Japan, as well as Europe, Middle East, and Africa, all of which were closer to expectations compared to other regions.

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