IDC: Dell's back on top of worldwide PC shipments

Dell Computer Corp. capitalized on an increase in purchases by commercial customers in the first quarter, retaking the lead in worldwide PC shipments from Hewlett-Packard Co., according to research released yesterday by IDC.

Dell shipped about 6 million units in the first quarter of 2003, up 24.7% from 4.8 million units in the first quarter of last year. HP shipped 5.5 million units, down 5.7% from the combined 5.8 million units shipped by HP and the former Compaq Computer Corp. in the first quarter last year.

Overall, worldwide shipments increased 2.1% from last year's first quarter to 34.6 million units, the third straight quarter of growth, said Roger Kay, director of client computing at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC. "That's a bit encouraging, but it's still sluggish growth," he said.

Dell's direct model helped it return to the top spot it last held in the third quarter of 2002. But the main reason for the switch can be chalked up to the buying patterns of consumers and corporations, Kay said.

Dell captured 17.3% of the worldwide market, while HP trailed with 15.8% in this year's first quarter. The study measured sales of desktops and notebooks, as well as servers based on the standard Intel Corp. architecture priced under $25,000.

Strong sales of notebook PCs lifted Toshiba Corp. into the top five vendors worldwide this quarter, with a 3.7% market share, a sign that notebooks are continuing to grow in popularity, Kay said. Toshiba sells only notebooks in the U.S., and of the 1.3 million units it shipped worldwide, only about 10,000 or so are desktops, he said.

IBM was third worldwide, with 1.9 million units shipped in the third quarter, representing a 5.4% market share. Fujitsu-Siemens Computers Holding BV was fourth with 1.7 million units, or 4.8% of the market. Both companies increased their shipments by 1.8%.

The U.S. rankings were the same, except Gateway Inc. replaced Fujitsu-Siemens in fourth place, with 506,000 units shipped, or 4.3% of the U.S. market.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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