IDC, Gartner find Q3 PC shipment increases

Spurred by low-priced computers, global shipments of PCs increased more than 17 percent in the third quarter, according to analyst firms IDC and Gartner.

Spurred by low-priced computers, global shipments of PCs increased more than 17 per cent in the third quarter, according to analyst companies, IDC and Gartner, which have independently released figures from that period.

Dell topped both lists in terms of global shipments and market share, with 18 per cent of the market according to IDC and just under 17 per cent by Gartner's figures.

Low-cost and portable systems drove the increase, which occurred in spite of higher interest rates and surging oil prices, IDC said. PC market growth for the quarter was remarkable and maintained relative independence from broader economic trends, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Loren Loverde, said in a statement.

Loverde's counterpart at Gartner highlighted home demand for mobile computers as particularly strong in the quarter. Overall market growth was better than expected, vice-president of Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide Group, Charles Smulders, said.

Aggressive pricing in the US led to shipments that were higher than expected in the desktop market, coupled with continued demand for notebook computers, IDC said. Hurricane Katrina struck the US Gulf Coast in the middle of the quarter and had some effect on the last month of that period, but the larger effect is forecast for the fourth quarter, which has been ushered in by higher fuel costs and a drop in consumer confidence.

Outside of the US, European Union expansion, investments in general infrastructure and low prices kept the PC market humming along, while in Japan, new product launches appealed to buyers. In the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan, both business and home purchases of computers remained robust, IDC found.

As for vendors, IDC figures show Dell with global shipments of nearly 9.5 million for the quarter, and with US shipments of 5.6 million. In percentage terms, those figures gave Dell 18 per cent market share globally and 33 per cent in the US, both of which were up slightly over the same period of last year. Year-on-year, Dell had 17.8 per cent growth internationally and 12.2 per cent growth in the US.

Gartner recorded 9.2 million shipments for Dell globally, for a market share of nearly 17 per cent, with US shipments of 5.5 million for a 30.7 per cent market share.

Second behind Dell for the quarter by both analyst counts was HP, with nearly 8.5 million shipments globally for a 16 per cent market share, and 3.45 million US shipments for a 20.3 per cent share, according to IDC. HP's international year-on-year growth stood at 17.9 per cent and was 10.1 per cent in the U.S. Gartner's figures for HP came in just below IDC's but were comparable.

Lenovo Group was third in global shipments with just over 4 million for a 7.7 per cent market share, according to IDC, and roughly the same shipment number with a 7.4 per cent market share by Gartner's count. The company was fourth on IDC's list for US shipments, with 757,000 units for 4.5 per cent of the market, and stood at fifth in the U.S. with 751,000 shipments and 4.2 per cent of the market according to Gartner. The third quarter was the second one since Lenovo took over IBM's PC business.

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