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iSuppli: Q1 Global PC Market ‘Better Than Expected’

El Segundo, Calif. — Global PC unit shipments rose to 69.9 million units in the first quarter, up 12.1 percent from 62.4 million in the first quarter of 2007, according to iSuppli.

The research firm said it found overall PC market performance in the first quarter to be “better than expected.” In addition, it said Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Acer also maintained their positions as the top PC manufacturers, with no change from the previous quarter.

“The first quarter of 2008 was better than hoped for, due to continued strong demand growth for mobile PCs,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for computer platforms research at iSuppli. “However, the financial markets are still adjusting to the effects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States, as are the consumers and businesses who have had their financial positions impacted.”

iSuppli said that during the last five years, first-quarter PC shipments have grown by an average of 12 percent compared to the same period during the previous year and that the beginning of 2008 was on par with the norm.

In terms of individual companies, iSuppli said that HP boosted its QI global PC shipments by 23 percent over the same quarter in 2007, the strongest percentage growth among its top 10 PC makers.

“Hewlett-Packard’s continues to outgrow the overall PC market and the competition due to a number of factors, including its strong channel presence and its success in capitalizing on the strength in the notebook segment,” Wilkins said.

During the same period, expanded its market share position by half a percentage point compared to the fourth quarter of 2007, at 15.4 percent, with worldwide shipments of 10.8 million units. Company shipments were up 20 percent from 8.97 million from the first quarter of 2007.

Dell’s performance reflects its gains from moves to expand its sales into the retail realm,” Wilkins noted.

Acer rounded out the top three with unit shipments of 6.8 million units — a figure that includes the shipments of the recently acquired Gateway and Packard Bell — giving it a global market share of 9.7 percent.

OEMs Lenovo and Toshiba rounded out the remainder of the top 5 rankings in the first quarter, with market shares of 6.9 and 4.4 percent, respectively.

The firm said that overall, the first quarter performance of the PC market was slightly better than expected. It said that the market still faces certain challenges like its expectation that there is a “higher value proposition in notebook PCs relative to desktops;” however, the company said that its outlook for the 2008 PC market remains healthy.