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Dell tops booming US PC market

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Dell topped US PC sales in this year's second quarter, according to research by IDC. The direct seller managed to steal Compaq's thunder by selling 1.8 million units, a growth of 16.6 per cent on last year's Q2. Compaq was shoved into second place with 1.79 million units, up 16.5 per cent. IBM, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard shipped 876,000, 845,000 and 841,000 units, respectively, all showing growth of around eight per cent. Compaq still clung onto the most global PC shipments -- with 3.75 million units. It was followed by Dell with 2.8 million and IBM with 2.3 million. HP and NEC/PB NEC shipped 1.7 million and 1.3 million, respectively. IDC also forecast that worldwide PC sales for the third quarter would grow by 24.8 per cent year on year. Global volume was expected to rise 7.2 per cent from this year's strong second quarter. Japan showed the speediest year on year growth rate in Q2 -– 39 per cent -– and is expected to have a strong performance in the second half of 1999. IDC forecast 32 per cent year on year growth for Japan for Q3 thanks to heightening consumer demand, Internet shopping and interest in smaller desktop PCs. Western Europe is expected to see 16.3 per cent growth in Q3, and the US 28 per cent. IDC said that market expansion would continue to be led by global demand for increasingly cheaper PCs, healthy growth in Asian, and the strong US economy. "Prices keep coming down and consumer interest in PCs keeps going up," added John Brown, research manager of IDC's worldwide quarterly PC tracking. "IDC believes that consumer demand combined with the traditional seasonal uptick in sales will result in very healthy global demand this quarter." Regarding the vendors, IDC expected the stars of Q3 to be Dell, Gateway, IBM and Apple. It said this line-up appeared to have the "right stuff" for growth this quarter. This includes having good Internet strategies, being able to deliver portable PCs in volume, having good positioning in Western Europe, the US and Asia/Pacific, as well as being aligned with growing consumer and small business segments. ®

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