Worldwide shipments of PCs rose at better-than-expected rates during the last quarter, dispelling industry fears that there was a slowdown in the market.
Dataquest and IDC said last week that PC shipments grew by 17 per cent and 19 per cent respectively in the first quarter ended 31 March, fuelled by a recovery in Asia and unexpected strength within the consumer market (PC Dealer, 28 April). Analysts also cited the continued good health of the European market as a factor in the buoyant quarter.
The research companies' pronouncements put paid to Compaq's excuse that a slump in the PC market in the first quarter had led to its own lower-than-expected earnings.
According to Dataquest, worldwide PC shipments in the quarter were 25 million, up from 21.3 million in the equivalent quarter last year, while IDC's figures gave 24.5 million shipments, up from 20.5 million.
Of those, Compaq shipped 3.35 million - up from three million last time - but its actual market share declined by almost one per cent, according to Dataquest. Growth for Compaq was put at 9.9 per cent. Dell had the largest single growth of all vendors at 49.1 per cent, shipping 2.3 million units in the quarter, up from 1.5 million.
IBM shipped 2.1 million, up from 1.6 million, at a growth of 30.8 per cent. Hewlett Packard shipped 1.5 million units, up from 1.3 million, growing at 13.1 per cent. Gateway came in at number five on Dataquest's list, with 1.1 million PCs shipped, up from 779,000, with growth at 12.6 per cent.
IDC put NEC in fifth place, with shipments of 1.6 million, up from 1.4 million previously and at a growth rate of six per cent.
The PC market in EMEA rose by 15.9 per cent in the first quarter according to preliminary data released last week by IDC, driven by a strong, very competitive consumer market in Western Europe.
Strong demand for PCs, combined with aggressive pricing in both consumer and business sectors, boosted the PC market in Western Europe in the period, with PC sales rising by 20.3 per cent, compared with the same period last year.
Desktops, portables and PC servers experienced sustained unit growth, but Eastern Europe continued to be affected by the Russian economic crisis. The Middle East and Africa region slowed down after strong growth in 1998.
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