Toshiba losing dominance in notebook market

Toshiba losing dominance in notebook market

Compaq surpassed Toshiba in US notebook sales in the retail and dealer channels this September, a new study showed. Another study disagreed, but it still showed Toshiba losing market share.

According to Computer Intelligence, Compaq captured the top spot with 28 per cent of the market in September. Toshiba, which held a commanding 41 per cent of the market last September, fell to second with 25 per cent of the market. IBM remained in third with 18 per cent, while other vendors split up the remaining 27 per cent.

Toshiba's decline began 12 months ago when competing vendors began to ship notebooks at competitive prices, according to analyst Matt Sargent at Computer Intelligence.

Sargent said the trend will continue.

"They've had an advantage for a long time, but it's an advantage that was given to them" because other PC vendors in years past didn't compete in the notebook market, he said.

Another study by IDC says Toshiba still maintained its lead against Compaq and IBM for the 1997 third quarter, but is losing market share.

IDC notebook analyst Randy Giusto said IDC and Computer Intelligence count sales differently. While Computer Intelligence adds up sales to retail and dealer channels, IDC counts shipments to all the channels, including value added resellers, system integrators and direct PC marketers such as Dell, he said.

Compaq, IBM and NEC have been moving to the build-to-order model, and Toshiba must follow suit to compete, Giusto said. "Toshiba is not very vocal on build-to-order. They're behind the trend and will lose their competitiveness if they don't start."

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