* Q2 shipments up 22.4 pct as businesses replace aging PCs
* HP No. 1; Dell regains No. 2 spot from Acer (Adds Gartner data, more details)
SAN FRANCISCO, July 14 (Reuters) - Global sales of personal computers surged more than 20 percent in the second quarter, according to data released on Wednesday, boosted by strong demand from businesses and the European market.
Total shipments in the April-May period climbed 22.4 percent, according to IDC. Gartner put the growth at 20.7 percent in the period.
Demand for desktop PCs exceeded expectations, IDC said, as businesses moved ahead with replacing aging computers.
At the same time, sales in Europe benefited from healthy sales to both consumers and businesses. Growth in the United States -- where shipments rose 12.6 percent -- and Asia/Pacific came in slightly below expectations.
"The PC market remains robust, and in a recovery phase, despite challenges to a broader economic recovery, such as slow job growth and a more conservative outlook in Europe and Asia/Pacific," IDC analyst Jay Chou said in a statement.
Gartner noted that sales of low-cost netbooks slowed significantly in the face of fresh competition from Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPad tablet device.
"Surging popularity of Apple's iPad temporarily cannibalized mini-notebooks, as well as consumer notebook sales to some degree," Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a news release. "It is not certain at this stage if the cannibalization will continue with the current price point of media tablets."
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) remained the world's top PC vendor, but its market share fell 1.6 percentage points to 18.1 percent, IDC said, as growth in international markets cooled.
Dell Inc's DELL.O shipments climbed 19.1 percent and the company regained the No. 2 spot in the global rankings, according to IDC's data, passing Acer Inc (2353.TW), although both companies lost market share.
Dell benefited from improved demand from businesses, while Acer's meteoric growth finally showed signs of slowing.
Lenovo (0992.HK), Toshiba (6502.T) and Asustek (2357.TW) all showed strong growth in the second quarter and picked up market share.
Lenovo's shipments rose 47.3 percent, Toshiba's climbed 26.2 percent, and Asus' rose 83.6 percent.
Although Apple is not ranked in the top 5 globally, it is the No. 4 computer vendor in the United States.