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Apple, HP US retail sales surge

Both vendors' sales grow well above industry average. Compaq didn't though

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Hewlett-Packard and Apple both experienced retail surges in January, according to the latest figures from market research company Intelect ASW Marketing Services. Apple saw sales through US retail outlets in January grow by 176 per cent on the sales it achieved for the same period last year. HP's retail sales increased by 111 per cent. US Retail PC sales grew by 24 per cent overall, said Intelect, based on its survey of 4900 outlets. That compares well with researcher PC Data's figures for the same period, which claimed retail sales grew 21.7 per cent. PC Data also found two of the top five best-selling desktop PCs in the retail channel were HP boxes, taking the top and number three slots. Apple's iMac was the fourth best-selling machine, suggesting that while sales are being maintained, the initial furore over the stylish consumer computer, which ensured it was the top-selling PC in the retail channel for most of the final half of 1998, is over. Still, Apple's showing in the top five is impressive, given the company's lower profile in the retail arena than that of HP or Compaq. It's also noteworthy that the iMac in question is the original 233MHz edition -- clearly Apple's initial difficulties supplying the multi-colour 266MHz iMac to the retail channel hit that machine's standing in the chart. Intelect's figures placed Compaq at the top of the retail chart, though its 15 per cent sales increase was below the industry average. Packard-Bell/NEC, which ranked fourth, behind IBM, was the only top-six supplier to experience a downturn in sales, of 57 per cent. ®

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