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Dell Top PC Shipper, Apple Gains Ground

New York – Apple Computer took a rare step up on the Gartner and IDC preliminary U.S. quarterly PC shipment reports landing in fourth place for the first time in several years.

Overall IDC said shipments increased 11.7 percent during the second quarter with 14.7 million units leaving factories. Gartner’s numbers were somewhat higher, due to a difference in tracking methodology, with 15.5 million units shipped, up 10 percent from the same period last year.

Apple’s move came at the expense of Lenovo, the Chinese firm that bought IBM’s computer business earlier this year, which took the fifth spot on the lists. Still dominating the top of the reports were Dell and Hewlett-Packard with Gateway coming in a strong third.

In the second quarter Gartner reported that Dell increased its share to 32 percent on unit shipments of 4.9 million. These figures almost double second place HP, which also enjoyed a healthy quarter increasing shipments by 6.4 percent to 2.7 million for a total market share of 17.4 percent. After Apple, Gateway posted the most growth with a 26.6 percent increase boosting shipments to 890,000.

Apple shipped 663,000 units during the quarter, a 31.4 percent increase, giving the company 4.3 percent of the market. Lenova was the lone company to lose share during the period dropping 9 percent to 3.9 percent on shipments of 607,000.

IDC’s numbers were essentially identical to Gartners with the former indicating that Dell shipped 5.1 million units and having 34.7 percent of the market.

IDC’s analysts noted that Apple’s growth was at more then twice the worldwide rate and much of this increase could be attributed to the success of the Mac mini computer and the visibility Apple is gaining through the iPod and iTunes products.