Strong Quarterly Growth for PCs 26-APR-99|
"Wired" news, Reuters
Worldwide shipments of personal computers
rose a better-than-expected 17 percent to 19
percent in the first quarter, fuelled by a recovery
in Asia and unexpected strength in the
consumer market, according to two leading
According to International Data Corp., worldwide
unit shipments rose 19 percent in the first
quarter, with the United States leading the way
with a stunning 24 percent unit growth.
Gartner Group's Dataquest, which does not
include PC servers in its data, said unit
shipments grew 17 percent worldwide in the first
"It's better than you usually expect for the first
quarter," said Christine Arrington, an analyst at
IDC, a market-research firm based in
Framingham, Massachusetts. "Coming off the
fourth quarter [which is typically strongest], you
expect the consumer market to die down a little
Continued health in Europe was also a factor,
and the Asia-Pacific region -- especially Japan's
consumer market -- showed strong growth
despite prolonged economic weakness in the
Both market-research firms said Compaq
Computer, despite its recent earnings woes,
maintained its position as the world's No. 1
personal computer maker, but Dell gained more
"Compaq did have a very rough quarter; their
market share fell nearly a point," said David
Stremba, principal analyst at Dataquest. "It was
a shining quarter for Dell and Gateway."
According to Dataquest, Compaq had a 13.4
percent share of the world PC market in the first
quarter, with 3.35 million units shipped, down
from a 14.3 percent share in the year-ago
quarter. Unit growth was up 9.9 percent versus a
By contrast, Dell Computer, now ranked the
second-largest PC maker in the world, had a 9.2
percent stake of the market in the first quarter,
with 2.3 million units shipped, versus a 7.2
percent stake a year ago. Dell's unit shipments
soared 49.1 percent in the quarter, Dataquest
IBM, now ranked No. 3, had an 8.4 percent
stake of the world PC market in the first quarter,
with 2.1 million units shipped, against a 7.5
percent share a year ago, according to
Dataquest. IBM's unit shipments jumped 30.8
percent, versus an anemic first quarter last year.
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3:00 a.m. 26.Apr.99.PDT
Hewlett-Packard was No. 4 with 6 percent of the
world PC market, and 1.5 million units shipped,
a slight decline from its share of 6.2 percent a
year ago. HP's unit shipments were up 13.1
percent in the quarter.
"Given all the uncertainty that had been talked
about in the PC business, they are obviously
very solid numbers," said Larry Sennett, a
spokesman for HP, adding that the company
was one of two vendors to show sequential
growth from the fourth quarter.
"There seems to be a pretty strong appetite for
hardware that is thus far undiminished by Y2K
issues, home saturation issues, all the
criticisms that have been raised about a future
major slowdown in the market," he added.
Gateway made its second appearance in
Dataquest's top-five list, with a 4.3 percent share
of the world PC market, and one million units
shipped in the quarter, up from a 3.7 percent
share and a 38 percent growth in unit
IDC's numbers, which include PC servers,
showed Compaq as the leader with 14.5 percent
of the total PC market, with 3.5 million units
shipped, down slightly from 14.9 percent of the
world market a year ago. Compaq units were up
Dell, according to IDC, had 10 percent of the
world PC market, with 2.4 million units shipped,
up from a 7.8 percent share of the market a year
ago. Dell's unit growth climbed 52 percent
versus the year-ago period, IDC said.
IBM had an 8.9 percent share of the world
market, with 2.2 million units shipped, up from
an 8.1 percent share a year ago. IBM's units
jumped 30 percent in the quarter, IDC said.
HP, with a 6.5 percent share of the world
market, shipped 1.6 million units in the quarter.
HP's market share dipped from 6.6 percent a
year ago, but units were up 16 percent.
IDC ranked NEC Packard Bell as the fifth-largest
personal-computer maker in the world, with 6.4
percent of the world PC market in the first
quarter and shipping 1.6 million units.
NEC Packard Bell continued to lose market
share, falling from 7.2 percent of the world
market a year ago. Units were up 6 percent.
"The early rumblings we heard from Compaq
indicate that they misread the slow start [in the
quarter] and believed it was an industry issue,"
Dataquest's Stremba said.
"It continued to be slow for Compaq where other
vendors moved aggressively on pricing actions
and stimulated the market more, particularly
following [Intel's] Pentium III launch."
Copyright© 1999 Reuters Limited.