The replacement PC cycle is under way and PC shipments for the second quarter 2004 are up as a result, according to the latest data from market researcher Gartner.
Worldwide PC shipments for the period were 43 million units, up 13.3 per cent on Q2 2003. The increase in EMEA was even higher, at 15.5 per cent, with business demand strong despite the increase in the value of the dollar against the euro. Gartner put some of the growth down to big government deals.
"The PC market performed in line with expectations during Q2 2004, exhibiting typical seasonal user demand patterns," said Charles Smulders, vice-president of Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group.
"The professional market is crucial to Q2's overall results. While early software and storage segment results have shown some weakness relative to industry expectations, the professional PC market was on track."
John Turner, business manager at distributor Midwich, agreed. "We have seen a good few months. There is definitely a change from desktop computers towards notebooks, which is good for resellers.
"Because notebooks are more of a personal decision than a corporate or financial one, there are better margins to be had on all the extras. Also, at current price points, there is very little to be gained by tying yourself to a desk," said Turner.
Dell retained the number-one slot in both the worldwide and US PC markets during Q2, with double-digit growth across all regions. Its market share now stands at 16.5 per cent for Q2, up from 15.3 per cent for the same period last year.
Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) worldwide year-on-year growth was above the industry average. Gartner said an internal reorganisation at HP during the quarter had affected the firm's performance.
HP controlled 14.3 per cent of the market in Q2, compared with 14 per cent last year, followed by IBM, with a slightly increased 5.9 per cent market share, up from 5.7 in 2003.
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