Compaq Computers managed to stay on top of the PC retail heap in 1999 despite suffering financial setbacks and the loss of top-level executives, while newcomer eMachines was able to vault from zero to more than 11 percent market share in just one year.
Dataquest found Compaq controlled between 17.3 percent and 19.5 percent of the market from the third quarter of 1998 and the same time in 1999. During that time it barely managed to hold onto first place by a few tenths of a percent from a hard-charging Gateway.
Hewlett-Packard spent the year swapping between second and third place, with Gateway and finally settled in behind Compaq with a 16 percent share.
Newcomer eMachines, which had no share in third-quarter 1998, had garnered 11.6 percent for fourth place just one year later due to the company’s philosophy of rolling out sub-$400 PCs.
Apple Computer held onto the fifth spot with a 6.6 percent share. This was down two full points from the previous year when the company was riding the initial introduction of the iMac line.
Noticeably absent from the list are IBM and Packard Bell NEC, both of which announced late last year that they were pulling out of the retail PC market.
Compaq’s position in the mobile category (notebook, laptop, transportable, ultra-portable) was much more stable, and its share shifted from 28 percent in first-quarter 1999 to 28.3 percent in the third quarter.
The third quarter ended with Gateway holding onto second place, with 17 percent of the market, followed by IBM, 15.9 percent, Toshiba, 12.4 percent and Sony with 9.5 percent. During the course of the year Gateway and Sony posted the largest gains. Gateway started at 5.2 percent and Sony at 2.2 percent.
Unlike the two computer categories, the consumer printer market had a fairly stable year. HP controlled just about half the market share between fall 1998 and 1999, ending with 47.3 percent of the printer market.
Lexmark spent most of 1999 in second place, with Dataquest’s most recent numbers giving it a 20 percent share, while Canon followed at 16.7 percent.
Epson and Compaq, which uses printers made by Lexmark, held the fourth and fifth slots, ending with respective shares of 7.8 percent and 7.1 percent.