PC sales up in Q3, but Compaq's share slides

PC sales up in Q3, but Compaq's share slides

The number of PCs shipped worldwide in the third quarter increased as much as 15 per cent over the same period last year, but the news wasn't all good for market leader Compaq, according to two reports released this week.

Compaq's worldwide unit sales grew just 9.7 per cent over the same period last year, compared to a 24 per cent increase for IBM in second place, and a 61 per cent increase for third-placed Dell, according to preliminary figures collected by Dataquest.

In the US, Compaq saw its sales decline 8 per cent in the third quarter, pulling its share of the domestic market down almost 4 per cent, from 19.6 per cent a year ago to 15.8 per cent in the third quarter, IDC concluded from its preliminary findings. However, strong demand for consumer products helped propel the company's growth sequentially by 30 per cent, IDC said.

The results don't indicate poor execution by Compaq or a decline in the popularity of its products, one analyst said. The PC maker has been distracted by its merger with Digital, and continues to suffer from a surplus of inventory in its distribution channels, said Christine Arrington, a senior analyst with IDC.

Direct vendors Dell and Gateway experienced the strongest growth in the quarter both worldwide and in the US, with Dell reporting its 12th consecutive quarter of more than 50 per cent growth, according to Dataquest.

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