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HP knocks Dell off PC pedestal without trying

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HP has snatched the PC crown from Dell's barely coherent clutches. It has taken HP close to three years to once again lead the market in worldwide PC sales. Under CEO Carly Fiorina and post Compaq, the company largely gave up on the tit-for-tat struggle with Dell for the PC top spot that had been so important to it over the years. Now it has reclaimed the #1 slot during the third quarter on the back of Dell's self-destruction.

Overall, worldwide PC shipments hit 59.1m units in the third quarter – a 7 per cent rise from the same period last year, according to new data from Gartner. The US PC market, however, dipped 2 per cent, marking its first fall since mid-2002. Dell is particularly exposed to the US PC market, and it showed.

Dell shipped 9.5m PCs worldwide during the quarter to grab 16.1 per cent of the market. HP, however, managed to ship 9.7m PCs to take 16.3 per cent of the market. HP enjoyed 15.4 per cent sales growth, while Dell posted just 3.6 per cent growth.

The other top PC makers – Lenovo, Acer and Toshiba – all reported double digit sales growth and increased their market share, Gartner said.

Dell was obliterated in the US market with sales sliding 7.1 per cent. It's still the dominate player in the US with 32 per cent market share versus HP's 23 per cent share. HP saw sales rise 6.3 per cent in the US.

"HP continues to take better advantage of the faster growth segments such as the consumer market. The company’s share trajectory reflects its improvements in operational execution and changes in marketing,” said Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner. “Dell felt the effects of the weak sales in the U.S. market, and it gave up some ground.”

Meanwhile, Gateway, Apple and Toshiba rounded out the top five sellers in Bushland.

PC shipments in EMEA jumped 9 per cent with consumer sales doing most of the work. HP held onto the top spot, while Acer knocked Dell out of the number two slot.

Asia/Pac watched PC sales rise 14 per cent during the quarter.

Dell has been battling to improve its customer service and image problems over the past few months. As of yet, however, few have seen evidence that Dell's repair job is paying off. The company depends on the low-margin PC sales to float a large part of its business. ®

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