International Data Corp. (IDC) is projecting a 20% growth in PC shipments in the U.S. for the first quarter as consumer Y2K fears dissipate and component shortages are alleviated.
John Brown, IDC research director for PCs, said increased supply of processors and memory has helped spur sales during the usually slow month of January. In addition, the release of Windows 2000 in February should give the business PC market a boost that should last all year. However, sales for the early part of 2000 will not surpass what took place in the fourth quarter of 1999 with a 9% fall off expected, Brown said.
IDC also released its final PC shipment numbers for the fourth quarter of 1999 and the full year. Dell displaced Compaq as the top seller for the quarter and year, grabbing 17% of the market for both periods compared to Compaq's 16.3% for the fourth quarter and 16.1% for the year. Dell shipped 7.5 million PCs in 1999 while Compaq shipped 7.2 million.
Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and IBM filled out the rest of the top five vendors for the year. Gateway pulled in 8.9% of the market on just more than 4 million units shipped for the year, HP was just behind with an 8.8% share on 3.9 million units shipped and IBM was a distant fifth with 7.3% of the market on 3.2 million units shipped. IBM stopped selling consumer PCs at retail near the end of the year.
For the fourth quarter, HP outperformed Gateway to take third place with 10.3% of the market on 1.3 million units shipped compared to Gateway's 9.3% on 1.1 million units shipped. IBM's quarter reflected its decision to move out of retail by garnering just a 5.6% share on 694,000 units shipped.
Overall the PC industry put 44.8 million computers into the market in 1999, up 24% from 1998 when 36.2 million were shipped. The vendors shipped 12.4 million units in the fourth quarter, up 16% from the same period the previous year.