IDC: PC shipments down, Dell still on top

IDC: PC shipments down, Dell still on top

Dell Computer still leads the world in PC shipments as the industry appears to be headed back to a healthier growth pattern, according to data from market researcher IDC.

The total number of PCs shipped in the second quarter was 33.2 million units, up 7.6 per cent compared to last year's second quarter according to IDC figures. Growth came in ahead of IDC's expectations of 4.1 per cent, as consumers increased their buying amid historically low prices, and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus outbreak had less of an effect than anticipated.

Dell shipped 5.9 million units in the quarter, up 28.9 per cent from last year's second quarter. Dell also increased its PC market share to 17.8 per cent. HP also posted a solid quarter, shipping 5.4 million units in the second quarter, up 13.3 per cent from last year's second quarter. But it remained behind its main rival Dell for the top spot worldwide for the second consecutive quarter after taking the lead in the fourth quarter of 2002.

IBM trailed the top two companies with shipments of 2.2 million units in the quarter, up 11.9 per cent from last year's second quarter. Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) and Toshiba rounded out the top five vendors worldwide.

IDC reduced its expectations for 2003 shipment growth in June, but appears to feel better about the industry's growth prospects after compiling the results.

Director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Loren Loverde, warned that second-quarter growth might be a reflection of short-term pricing strategies, but he expected an increase in corporate spending to keep the market going.

Corporate spending in the current quarter most likely increased, Loverde said.

"The overall growth rate suggests that there is some recovery there [in corporate PC spending], but we'll have to see how that turns out," he said.

Because an anticipated recovery in 2002 fell short, IDC was hesitant to declare that any type of broader recovery was under way without more data, he said.

The US PC market grew by 8.1 per cent, a higher rate than expected, IDC said.

Growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa was also slightly above forecasts as consumers and small businesses snapped up cheap desktop PCs and new notebooks, the company said.

Asia-Pacific endured a difficult quarter caused by the SARS virus, but business did not drop off as much as expected, and had recovered faster than expected, IDC said.

Growth declined compared to the first quarter of 2003, but was expected to improve during the third and fourth quarters, the company said.

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