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2002 Computer Shipments Inch Up

While the ongoing battle between Dell and Hewlett-Packard for supremacy in the PC category was too close to call in 2002, the industry managed to eke out a small unit shipment increase, according to the research firms International Data Corp. (IDC) and Dataquest.

IDC, of San Jose, Calif., and Dataquest, of Framingham, Mass., differed on which manufacturer took the crown for the year, with IDC going with HP and Dataquest picking Dell. This situation was due to the different methodology each firm uses in compiling its PC shipment numbers.

Analysts were pleased with the growth experienced by the category, but said it was not a sure sign that the industry is finally recovering after two years of falling sales. Dataquest had worldwide shipments rising 2.7 percent on shipments of 132.4 million, while U.S. shipments were up 4.4 percent to 46.5 million. IDC was a bit more conservative stating shipments were up 1.5 percent worldwide on shipments of 136 million and 2.2 percent domestically, 47.9 million units shipped. Last year PC shipments declined between three and 5 percent in both categories.

“In the second half of 2002 the worldwide PC market had two consecutive quarters of year-on-year shipment growth. Despite this growth, we still believe PC market demand is still at the bottom of a growth cycle and has yet to show evidence of a significant upturn,” said Charles Smulders, VP of Dataquest’s computing platform worldwide group.

HP was the top selling vendor worldwide, despite a an erosion of its market share to 16.2 percent down from the 18.3 percent it enjoyed in 2001, the Dataquest report stated. Most of HP’s share went to Dell as it managed to increase its share 18.3 percent to 15.2 percent. IBM and NEC each lost a small amount of share, but Toshiba posted a healthy 7.4 percent increase.

IDC’s worldwide numbers indicated HP had 16.1 percent of the market to Dell’s 15.7 percent. IBM took third followed by Fujitsu Siemens and NEC. All saw share drop for the year.

Dell clearly dominated the U.S. market. According to Dataquest, in the domestic U.S. market Dell handily retained its No. 1 position over HP by boosting growth 20.7 percent. It now commands 27.7 percent of the market. HP’s share, which includes the now merged Compaq, dipped 7.7 percent to 19.8 percent. Struggling Gateway had an even poorer with its share falling 14.8 percent to 5.9 percent. IBM and Apple managed to show a slight improvement in 2001.

IDC’s top five list had Gateway, IBM and Apple following Dell and HP. HP’s figures for the year reflect the manner in which IDC handled the HP-Compaq merger.

Dataquest’s Worldwide PC Unit Shipments

Estimates for 2002 (Thousands of Units)