Dataquest: Consumer shipments boosted 2002 PC sales

Worldwide PC shipments in 2002 reached 132.4 million units, an increase of 2.7 percent over 2001, according to preliminary figures released Thursday by Gartner's Dataquest unit. This compares with a 4 percent fall in sales from 2000 to 2001. Dataquest expects a strong 7.6 percent PC sales increase worldwide in 2003 over 2002.

Consumer sales were the strongest growing, with notebook and other mobile PCs being sold in increasing numbers to the consumer market. This contrasted with a weak corporate market, which showed no signs of a recovery during the year. Still concerned about economic uncertainty, corporations preferred to extend the life of PCs rather than upgrade, Dataquest said.

The combined Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and Compaq brand led the way with a 16.2 percent market share. But the company's PC sales fell 9.3 percent during the year and its top position is now under threat from the fastest-growing PC vendor, Dell Computer.

Dell's shipments rose 18.3 percent during the year to give it a 15.2 percent market share, just one percentage point behind HP. This gap is down from 5.2 percentage points in 2001, when HP had 18.4 percent of the market compared to Dell's 13.2 percent.

Dell is now comfortably the largest PC vendor in the U.S. with a 27.9 percent share to HP's 19.8 percent, but its real sales growth in 2002 came from the Asia-Pacific region, Japan and Latin America, Dataquest said

IBM and NEC led the competition, with market shares of 6 percent and 3.4 percent. Both saw sales fall in 2002, IBM by 3.7 percent and NEC by 7.4 percent.

In fifth place, Toshiba enjoyed a strong year, with sales rising 16 percent over 2001 to give it a 3.2 percent market share in 2002.

The Dataquest figures were broadly in line with estimates released earlier Thursday by IDC.

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David Legard

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