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U.S. Q1 PC Shipments Better Than Expected

New York — Hewlett-Packard took over as the No. 1 PC shipper in the United States for the first quarter, displacing Dell.

Research firms Gartner and IDC reported better-than-expected shipment numbers for the U.S. market for the first quarter due to strong sales of low-priced notebooks and the continued popularity of netbooks.

U.S. PC shipments were 15.2 million, down 0.3 percent, and 14.9 million, down 3.1 percent, for the first quarter, according to Gartner and IDC, respectively. The discrepancy between the two firm’s figures is due to their unique tracking methodologies.

“Low-priced mobile PCs continued to be the growth driver for the PC industry in most regions,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “However, we anticipate a sharp decline in industry revenues due to the lower average selling prices of these devices.”

IDC’s analysts said the first-quarter numbers in the U.S. provide a glimmer of hope that consumer spending may not be that weak.

HP supplanted Dell by shipping about 4.2 million units, compared with Dell’s 3.9 million, according to reports released by Gartner and IDC. HP now has 27.6 percent of the U.S. market share to Dell’s 26.3 percent.

Acer, Apple and Toshiba filled out the remaining spots on Gartner and IDC’s list. Dell suffered the largest loss during the quarter, with both research firms showing a 16 percent drop compared with the first quarter of 2008. Apple suffered a 1 percent fall while Acer and Toshiba enjoyed double-digit growth.

Worldwide the PC industry did not fare as well, with shipments dropping 6.5 percent to 67.2 million, according to Gartner. IDC’s figure was slightly higher, with shipments falling 7.1 percent on 63.4 million units shipped.

HP was also the leader on the world stage, shipping just more than 13 million units to Dell’s 8.6 million. Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba were the other leading shippers.

Preliminary United States PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q09 (Thousands of Units)

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.
Source: Gartner (April 2009)

Top 5 Vendors, United States PC Shipments, First Quarter 2009 (Preliminary)
(Units Shipments are in thousands – excludes x86 Servers)

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, April 15, 2009