By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Computer shipments in the United States and worldwide made a huge comeback in 2009 overall and the fourth quarter, according to Gartner and IDC.
Fourth-quarter shipments jumped in excess of 24 percent in the fourth quarter year over year, the two firms reported. Gartner said U.S. shipments were up 26.5 percent on 19.8 million units shipped, while IDC had the number at 20.6 million, up 24 percent. The different figures are due to the slightly different accounting methods used by the two firms.
The large gains were, in part, due to the poor sales that took place during the same period in 2008, tied to falling average selling prices for netbooks and laptops and the economic recovery that started to take place in the latter half of 2009.
For the year, IDC said U.S. shipments were up 6.5 percent, with 69.8 million units shipped. Gartner did not release figures for 2009.
In the United States, Gartner and IDC's fourth-quarter top-five PC shipper lists were identical, with Hewlett-Packard passing Dell for the leadership position. Dell came in second, followed by Acer, Toshiba and Apple.
All except Dell posted large double-digit gains during the fourth quarter. Toshiba experienced the greatest growth, with shipments increasing more than 70 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2008. HP's 45 percent increase was second best.
Gartner's analysts said Dell's comparatively lackluster performance was due to being less aggressive in pricing than its competitors. Although Dell's shipments increased only about 5 percent, IDC called this a success for the company as it was the first positive gain for Dell in four quarters. In addition, IDC noted that Toshiba's focus on portable computing paid off, as the vast majority of all computer sales now fall into this category.
Dell also lost a position on the worldwide stage as Acer surpassed the Texas computer builder to take second place. HP maintained its massive lead over the competition earning about 9 percent market share.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.