The growth figure is higher than the 3.9% that IDC calculated, but total shipments are lower at 84.1 million units, compared to IDC's total shipments figure of 86.7 million units.
Regional figures showed LATAM, EMEA and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) registering strong annual growth in shipments of 17%, 16% and 13% respectively.
Canalys said volumes remained high due to the PC market performing very strongly in the third quarter of 2020, and showing a two-year compound annual growth rate of 9% from the third quarter of 2019.
It said shipments of notebooks and mobile workstations grew 3% year-on-year to 67.4 million units, while desktops and desktop workstations rose 12% to 16.6 million units.
“Disruption to the global supply chain and logistics network remains the key inhibitor of higher growth in the PC market,” said senior analyst Ishan Dutt.
“More than a year on from the onset of the pandemic, manufacturing continues to be hindered by lockdowns and other COVID-19 related restrictions, particularly in Asia.
"This has been compounded by a massive slowdown in global transportation with freight prices and delay times skyrocketing, as a number of industries compete to meet unfulfilled demand.
"The shortfall in supply of PCs is expected to last well into 2022, with the holiday season this year set to see a significant portion of orders not met.
"Vendors [who are] able to manage this period of operational upheaval by diversifying production and distribution and having better visibility of orders to prioritise device allocation will be equipped to ride out the storm.”
Of the top five PC vendors - Lenovo. HO, Dell, Apple and Acer - all but HP experienced post-shipment volume growth in the third quarter.
Lenovo was at the top with 19.8 million units shipped, a modest increase of 2.5% year-on-year. HP kept its second position, but recorded a 5.7% decline, mainly due to a fall in Chromebook shipments to the US.
Third-placed Dell gained the most, posting the highest growth at 26.7% with more than 15 million units shipped and a market share gain of more than 3% year-on-year.
Apple and Acer grew by 14.4% and 5.7% respectively, with the former also enjoying a market share gain.
“While there is a marked slowdown from the phenomenal performances in the past quarter in some segments, especially education and consumer, newer opportunities exist,” said research director Rushabh Doshi.
“Hybrid work models will be an important part of the new normal post-COVID-19 and will require PC vendors to enhance product portfolios and go-to-market strategies, as faster processors, better cameras and anytime-anywhere connectivity take centre-stage.
"SMBs and enterprises are also likely to focus on ease of procurement, security and device management as they move to sustain these new policies for the long term.
"Adding to this, PC demand is expected to be robust from SMBs as various industries race to make up for lost time, and consumer spending shifts onto categories that were otherwise restricted during the lockdown, mainly tourism and travel.
“With the supply situation throwing curve-balls one after the other, PC vendors have it harder than anyone, as they manage this intricate and complex problem of supply and demand, where no magic formula exists.
“What’s worse is that they need to address not two, or twenty, but more than a hundred markets around the world. Being a PC vendor is both enviable and unenviable at the same time.”