Reading (dpa) - The prospect of further US additional duties has boosted notoriously weak PC sales in the past quarter. With a plus of 4.7 percent to 70.9 million devices it was the strongest growth in seven years, said the market research firm Canalys.

The concern that PCs in the US with the new tariffs in mid-December more expensive, had been a key driver. This effect was just a straw fire, they warned. At the same time it is a braking factor that Intel could deliver only a limited number of PC chips of its latest generation.

At the same time, the largest PC manufacturers are increasingly dominating the business: The leading three providers recently controlled almost 80 percent of the market.

Lenovo remained number one with 24.4 percent market share, according to Canalys calculations, with 17.3 million units sold. HP thus follows in second place with 23.6 percent market share. Both frontrunners were able to boost sales significantly: the Chinese market leader lost 7.2 percent more than a year ago and HP 8.6 percent more. Dell is number three with 17 percent market share. Canalys counts desktops, notebooks and enterprise workstations that have entered the trading channels, even if they have not yet been sold to end users.

Further momentum was provided by deliveries for the Christmas business, the continuous change of companies to the newer operating system Windows 10 as well as purchases at the beginning of the new educational year.