Worldwide PC shipments fell 3% in the second quarter.
The figures from research group IDC are better than the 6% drop expected, but still point to 2009 being the industry's first full year in decline since 2001.
IDC says businesses still aren't making big technology purchases, but consumers flocked to inexpensive laptops.
The analysts say Hewlett-Packard Co. remained the world's largest PC maker, followed by Dell Inc. and Acer Inc.
In the U.S., Dell regained the top position after falling behind HP in the first quarter.
Apple Inc., No. 5 on IDC's list in the U.S., shipped fewer computers than last year's quarter.
IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell says "People are focused on $600, $700 notebooks. Guess what Apple doesn't have: any notebook below $999."