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PC Ship Numbers Jump

New York – PC shipments enjoyed double-digit growth in the third quarter with notebook computer sales leading the resurgence.

According to preliminary data from Gartner, Stamford, Conn., and IDC, Framingham, Mass., U.S. PC shipments for the quarter were up 19 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively. Each company cited a huge increase in notebook sales as the primary reason. Gartner reported that 15.6 million computers were shipped during the third quarter while IDC put the number at 14.2 million. This discrepancy is due to the fact that the firms track the category slightly differently.

Dell and Hewlett-Packard retained their hold on first and second place. Gartner had Dell shipment number increase 24.9 percent to 4.3 million giving the company 27.4 percent of the market. HP performed even better increasing its shipment figures 33.9 percent to just over 3 million. This added two points to HP’s market share, bringing it to 19.4 percent.

IDC and Gartner reported that IBM, which is a major player in the business notebook market, shipped 9.7 percent more units this quarter, 714,600, compared to the same period last year. However, its share fell slightly to 4.6 percent from 5 percent in 2002.

IDC will not disclose the remainder of its Top Five Vendor chart until Gateway releases its most recent financial statement on Oct. 23.

However, Gartner’s data indicated that Gateway shipped 28.6 percent fewer computers, 520,700, and its market share fell to 3.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent the prior year. Gateway is in the process of rolling out in excess of 50 different consumer electronic products and redesigning its Country Stores to better sell these devices, but company executives said they have no intention of bailing out of the computer market.

With this shift Gateway barely stayed ahead of Apple, which boosted its shipment numbers 4.9 percent for the quarter to 470,200. Its share dipped slightly to 3.1 percent from 3.5 percent.

Toshiba rounded out Gartner’s list. The dedicated notebook vendor came within a whisker of passing Gateway and Apple during the third quarter. Toshiba shipped 470,000 units, a 16.2 percent increase, for a 3 percent share of the market.