Worldwide PC shipments hit 75.9 million units in the last quarter of last year - a 13.1 percent increase over the same quarter in 2006, according to research firm Gartner. Similarly, Gartner noted that global PC shipments reached 271.2 million units in all of 2007, a 13.4 percent increase over 2006 numbers.

"The Europe, Middle East and Africa region continued to be the largest PC market in 2007," said Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa. "Asia/Pacific took over as the second-largest PC market during the fourth quarter. [Last year] showed a clear indication of the worldwide PC market landscape: strong growth in emerging regions, such as Asia/Pacific, and slower growth in markets such as the US."

HP extended its lead over Dell in the PC market, which includes desktops and laptops, according to Gartner's figures. HP grabbed 18.2 percent of the market share last year, up from 15.9 percent in 2006. Dell weighed in with 14.3 percent, down more than 1 percent from the 15.9 percent it grabbed in 2006. Well behind the two leaders were Acer with 8.9 percent of market share, Lenovo with 7.4 percent and Toshiba with 4 percent.

"HP established a solid number-one position in 2007," said Kitagawa. "Robust consumer and mobile PC sales across all regions were two main drivers of HP's overall growth. The company experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors in fourth quarter of 2007, as its shipments increased 23.3 percent in the quarter."