IDC: Q2 PC shipments grow; Dell still No. 1

Dell Computer Corp. still leads the world in PC shipments as the industry appears to be headed back to a healthier growth pattern, according to data from market research company IDC released Wednesday.

The total number of PCs shipped in the second quarter was 33.2 million units, up 7.6% compared with last year's second quarter, according to IDC figures. Growth came in ahead of IDC's expectation of 4.1%, as consumers increased their buying amid historically low prices, and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak had less of an effect than anticipated, IDC said.

Dell shipped 5.9 million units in the quarter, up 28.9% from last year's second quarter. Dell also increased its PC market share to 17.8%. Hewlett-Packard Co. posted a solid quarter as well, shipping 5.4 million units in the second quarter, up 13.3% from last year's second quarter. But it remained behind Dell for the top spot worldwide for the second consecutive quarter after taking the lead in the fourth quarter of 2002.

IBM trailed the top two companies, with shipments of 2.2 million units in the quarter, up 11.9% from last year's second quarter. Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) BV and Toshiba Corp. rounded out the top five vendors worldwide.

IDC reduced its expectations for 2003 shipment growth in June but appeared to be more optimistic about the industry's growth prospects after compiling Wednesday's results.

Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, warned in a press release Wednesday that second-quarter growth might be a reflection of short-term pricing strategies. But he said he expects an increase in corporate spending to keep the market going.

Corporate spending in the current quarter likely increased, Loverde said in a telephone interview. "The overall growth rate suggests that there is some recovery there [in corporate PC spending], but we'll have to see how that turns out," he said. Because an anticipated recovery in 2002 fell short, IDC is hesitant to declare that any type of broader recovery is under way without more data, he said.

The U.S. PC market grew by 8.1%, a higher rate than expected, IDC said. Growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa was also slightly above forecasts as consumers and small businesses snapped up cheap desktop PCs and new notebooks, the Framingham, Mass.-based company said.

Asia-Pacific endured a difficult quarter because of the SARS virus, but business didn't drop off as much as expected and has recovered faster than expected, IDC said. Growth declined compared with the first quarter of 2003 but is expected to improve during the third and fourth quarters, the company said.

IDC will report shipments for the U.S. after Gateway Inc. releases its quarterly earnings report next week.

Here are the top five vendors, as ranked by second-quarter unit shipments worldwide by IDC:

Vendor

Q2 '03 units (thousands)

Market share (percent)

Q2 '02 units (thousands)

Market share (percent)

Unit change (percent)

Dell

5,931

17.8

4,602

14.9

28.9

HP

5,376

16.2

4,743

15.4

13.3

IBM

2,184

6.6

1,952

6.3

11.9

Fujitsu Siemens

1,277

3.8

1,192

3.9

7.1

Toshiba

1,032

3.1

931

3.0

10.8

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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