New York - While the on going battle between Dell and Hewlett-Packard for supremacy in the PC category was too close to call in 2002, the industry managed to eke out a small unit shipment increase, according to the research firms International Data Corp. (IDC) and Dataquest.
IDC, San Jose, Calif., and Dataquest, Framingham, Mass, differed on which manufacturer took the crown for the year with IDC going with HP and the latter picking Dell. This situation is due to the different methodology each firm uses in compiling its PC shipment numbers.
Analysts were pleased with the growth experienced by the category, but said it was not a sure sign that the industry is finally recovering after two years of falling sales. Dataquest had worldwide shipments rising 2.7 percent on shipments of 132.4 million, while U.S. shipments were up 4.4 percent to 46.5 million. IDC was a bit more conservative stating shipments were up 1.5 percent worldwide and 2.2 percent domestically. Last year PC shipments declined between three and 5 percent in both categories.
'In the second half of 2002 the worldwide PC market had two consecutive quarters of year on year PC shipment growth. Despite this growth, we still believe PC market demand is still at the bottom of a growth cycle and has yet to show evidence of a significant upturn,' said Charles Smulders, vice president of Dataquest's computing platform worldwide group.
HP was the top selling vendor worldwide, despite a an erosion of its market share to 16.2 percent down from the 18.3 percent it enjoyed in 2001, the Dataquest report stated. Most of HP's share went to Dell as it managed increase its share 18.3 percent to 15.2 percent. IBM and NEC each lost a small amount of share, but Toshiba posted a healthy 7.4 percent increase bringing its market share total to 3.2 percent.
IDC's worldwide numbers indicated HP had 16.1 percent of the market to Dell's 15.7 percent. IBM took third followed by Fujitsu Siemens and NEC.
Dell clearly dominated the U.S. market. According to Dataquest, In the domestic U.S. market Dell handily retained its number one position over HP by boosting growth 20.7 percent. It now commands 27.7 percent of the market. HP's share, which includes the now merged Compaq, dipped 7.7 percent to 19.8 percent. Struggling Gateway had an even poorer with its share falling 14.8 percent to 5.9 percent. IBM and Apple managed to show a slight improvement in 2001.
Smulders credited sales of laptop computers sold to consumers for saving the U.S. market citing the fact that business sales did not recover at all during the past year.
IDC's top five list mirrored Dataquest with minor differences in each company's total share.