Brand PC shipments down, white-box steady

Brand PC shipments down, white-box steady

Worldwide PC shipments dropped nearly 12 per cent in the third quarter of 2001 compared to the same period last year, according to a report released yesterday by Dataquest, a division of Gartner.

"PC saturation in developed markets and the effects of the US economic downturn came heavily to bear on all PC regions" in the world, said Charles Smulders, an analyst at Dataquest. Globally, there were 30.7 million PC shipments in the quarter, down from about 34.6 million in the year-ago period, he said.

Dell Computer bucked the trend, however, increasing shipments by nearly 11 per cent worldwide, while all the other top-tier vendors declined by between 17 and 31 per cent. Dell finished in first place both worldwide and in the US with nearly 14 per cent of the worldwide PC market share and 25 per cent of the US share.

Compaq finished second in both the world and the US, with a 10.4 per cent share worldwide and an 11.7 per cent American share. IBM was third worldwide, with a 6.6 per cent share, and fifth in the US with a 6.3 per cent share. Hewlett-Packard, which is merging with Compaq, finished fourth worldwide but third in the US, with a 6.4 per cent worldwide share and an 8.8 per cent US share. NEC finished fifth worldwide, with a 3.4 per cent share, while Gateway finished fourth in the US, with a 7.4 per cent share.

A PC component surplus created a resurgence in non-branded, or white-box, PCs, Smulders said. After the first five top-tier vendors, the remaining smaller vendors and white-box makers had nearly 60 per cent of the worldwide market and 41 per cent of the US market.

This was the third consecutive quarter in which US PC shipments declined. The September 11 terrorist attacks made a bad market worse, Smulders said, although Dell said it saw a swift return to business afterward. Compaq and HP were adversely affected by the early uncertain reaction to the merger, he said.

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