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Aggressive PC Pricing Leads To Double-Digit Third-Quarter Gains

U.S. and worldwide PC sales rode a wave of aggressive pricing to double-digit gains during the third quarter, according to the industry research firms Gartner and IDC.

IDC credited a strong back-to-school selling season for the 11 percent increase in PC sales it registered, while Gartner noted that in addition to student purchases, notebook computer sales to consumers helped sales climb 10.5 percent on its scale. The impact Hurricane Katrina had on sales was minimal during the third quarter, but the storms aftermath, which includes higher fuel costs, may be felt during the fourth quarter, IDC reported.

Overall computer shipments for the quarter were 17 million, according to IDC, and 17.9 million, Gartner. The discrepancy in numbers is attributed to accounting methodology.

Both research firms stated that worldwide computer sales jumped 17 percent during the quarter. Worldwide Gartner reported 55 million units shipping, while IDC came in a bit lower at 52.8 million.

Dell maintained its dominant No 1 position in the U.S. domestic market over second place Hewlett-Packard on IDC’s and Gartner’s Top five vendor lists. Gateway was a solid third place finisher, while Lenovo, which purchased IBM’s computer business earlier this year, took fourth, and a surging Apple came in fifth. (See charts below for share and shipment details).

Top 5 Vendors, U.S. PC Shipments For Third Quarter