Dell regains global PC lead

Dell Computer has capitalised on a shift in buying from consumers to commercial customers in the first quarter, retaking the lead in worldwide PC shipments from HP, according to research released by IDC.

Dell shipped about 6 million units in the first quarter of 2003, up 24.7 per cent from 4.8 million units in the first quarter of last year. HP shipped 5.5 million units, down 5.7 per cent from the combined 5.8 million units shipped by HP and the former Compaq Computer in the first quarter last year.

Overall, worldwide shipments increased 2.1 per cent from last year's first quarter to 34.6 million units, the third straight quarter of growth, director of client computing with IDC, Roger Kay, said.

"That's a bit encouraging, but it's still sluggish growth," he said.

Dell's direct model helped it return to the top spot it last held in the third quarter of 2002, but the main reason for the switch could be chalked up to the buying patterns of consumers versus corporations, Kay said.

Dell captured 17.3 per cent of the worldwide market while HP trailed with 15.8 percent in this year's first quarter. The study measured sales of desktops and notebooks, as well as servers based on the standard Intel architecture priced under $US25,000.

Strong sales of notebook PCs lifted Toshiba into the top five vendors worldwide this quarter with a 3.7 per cent market share, a sign that notebooks were continuing to grow in popularity, Kay said.

Toshiba sold only notebooks in the US, and of the1.3 million units shipped worldwide, only about 10,000 or so were desktops, he said.

IBM was third worldwide with 1.9 million units (5.4 per cent)shipped in the third quarter. Fujitsu-Siemens Computers (Holding) was fourth with 1.7 million units (4.8 per cent). Both companies increased their shipments by 1.8 per cent.

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Tom Krazit

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