Worldwide PC sales beat doom merchants

Shipments up nearly 20 per cent

The number of PCs shipped throughout the world during the first three months of the year grew by 19 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest stats from IDC. The US saw the greatest growth, rising 24 per cent to 9.8 million units out of the total 24.5 million machines shipped globally during the period. Curiously, IDC identified strong demand for mid-range machines as well as low-end boxes among consumers, suggesting that those buying machines for use at home are increasingly basing their purchase decision on speed rather than price. That said, IDC said the Pentium III roll-out saw the new CPU come it at a very competitive price point, pushing Pentium II prices down and persuading many consumers to go for the new processor, notably as an upgrade to PII boxes. Chipzilla's advertising blitz will have played a major part too. Strong consumer demand defined the growth in the main European markets, too, and helped return the Japanese PC market to growth. The Far East is clearly getting into the habit of buying new PCs again, after last year's turmoil. From a vendor perspective, Dell continued to lead on growth, selling 55 per cent and 52 per cent more PCs in the US and globally, respectively. Compaq retained its marketshare lead, but experienced only ten per cent US growth and 16 per cent global growth. In the US, IBM, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard all achieved growth well ahead of the industry as a whole, increasing sales by 26 per cent, 40 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively. The first two did well worldwide, notching up growth of 30 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. ® Top Five PC Vendors Worldwide, Q1 99

1 Compaq 14.5%
2 Dell 10%
3 IBM 8.9%
4 HP 6.5%
5 Packard-Bell/NEC 6.4%
6 Others 53.7%
Top Five PC Vendors Worldwide, Q1 98
1 Compaq 14.9%
2 IBM 8.1%
3 Dell 7.8%
4 Packard-Bell/NEC 7.2%
5 HP 6.6%
6 Others 55.3%
Source: IDC

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