Worldwide PC shipments down nearly 12% in Q3

Worldwide PC shipments dropped nearly 12 percent in the third quarter of 2001 over the same period last year, according to a report released yesterday by San Jose-based Dataquest Inc., a division of Gartner Inc.

"PC saturation in developed markets and the effects of the U.S. 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 Corp. bucked the trend, however, increasing shipments by nearly 11 percent worldwide, while all the other top-tier vendors declined by between 17 percent and 31 percent. Dell finished in first place both worldwide and in the U.S., with nearly 14 percent of the worldwide PC market share and 25 percent of the U.S. share.

Compaq Computer Corp. finished second in both the world and U.S., with a 10.4 percent share worldwide and an 11.7 percent share in the U.S. IBM Corp. was third worldwide, with a 6.6 percent share, and fifth in the U.S. with a 6.3 percent share. Hewlett-Packard Co., which is merging with Compaq, finished fourth worldwide but third in the U.S., with a 6.4 percent worldwide share and an 8.8 percent U.S. share. NEC Corp. finished fifth worldwide, with a 3.4 percent share, while Gateway Inc. finished fourth in the U.S., with a 7.4 percent share.

A PC component surplus created a resurgence in nonbranded, or white-box, PCs, Smulders said. After the first five top-tier vendors, the remaining smaller vendors and white-box makers had nearly 60 percent of the worldwide market and 41 percent of the U.S. market.

This was the third consecutive quarter in which U.S. PC shipments declined. The Sept. 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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Matt Hamblen

PC World

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