The third quarter this year saw Dell for the first time ship more PCs in the US than archrival Compaq, as worldwide PC shipments increased by about 25 per cent over the same period last year.
The direct PC seller increased its share of US shipments to 17.1 per cent, ahead of Compaq's 15.3 per cent, according to preliminary estimates announced last week by GartnerGroup's Dataquest market research unit.
According to Ian Bertram, principal analyst at GartnerGroup Australia, Compaq remains the number one PC vendor in Australia, though Dell has made significant inroads into the market to reach the number three spot.
However, it will be an uphill battle for Compaq to maintain or grow its position, forced to counter the impact of the exodus of Harvey Norman and approximately $50 million worth of business from its coffers.
Bertram is pessimistic about Compaq's ability to recover from here, explaining that not only was revenue lost but significant resources were dedicated to the establishment of Compaq Connect stores, Compaq's call centre and its Internet strategy.
`Compaq will have to pull out significant increases in revenue in the next 12 months to make up for this and I'm not convinced end users will go to a single brand store,' said Bertram.
Despite these difficulties, Bertram believes Compaq Australia is in a much more commanding position than its US counterpart because of its `excellent supply chain management strategy. Compaq around the world will be looking at Australia and its clicks-and-mortar policy. Other vendors would do well to look at it as well,' said Bertram.
Bertram added that the strategy did not necessarily equate with a direct sales model and still relied on the channel to provide support, maintenance and warranty services, which Dell currently outsources.
Worldwide, PC shipment growth was fuelled by a combination of factors, including lower prices, economic prosperity, the Internet and latent demand in the Asia-Pacific region, Dataquest said.
Total US PC shipments during the quarter increased by 22.7 per cent, reaching nearly 11.7 million units, compared to 9.5 million units in last year's third quarter, according to Dataquest. Dell and Compaq were followed by Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, the report said.
Worldwide, Compaq remained the number one PC vendor, followed by Dell, IBM, HP and Gateway, according to Dataquest. IDC, however, placed NEC (including its US subsidiary Packard Bell NEC) in fifth place, ahead of Gateway.
Total global PC shipments during the third quarter increased by 23.2 per cent, from nearly 23.2 million units in the same period a year ago to almost 28.6 million units, according to Dataquest, while IDC pegged growth at 25 per cent and shipments in this year's third quarter at 27.9 million units.http;//www.dataquest.com http;//www.idc.com