RealTime IT News

PC Shipments Up, But U.S. Lags

Quarterly analyses of the PC market released by research firms IDC and Gartner show positive growth, with commercial sales in the U.S. bolstering the sector.

Gartner determined that worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter of 2004 increased 9.7 percent from the same period last year. U.S. sales dragged down the total numbers. Gartner had forecast an 8 percent increase in U.S. shipments, but these increased by only 5 percent.

Gartner analyst Charles Smulders said that sales of notebooks for use at home were strong, but consumer desktop demand was much weaker than expected.

IDC pegged worldwide growth at 12 percent, thanks to demand by businesses and strong growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). IDC's forecast missed the mark by only .5 percent; the Framingham, Mass.-based firm predicted 11.5 percent growth.

Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, said mobile computing had added to the demand.

According to IDC, strong growth in the U.S. commercial sector should continue into the fourth quarter. In EMEA, continued growth in notebook shipments combined with desktop replacements by businesses and consumer segments made for a strong third quarter.

In Japan, it's commercial sales that drive the market, with consumer PC shipments weak. Shipments declined in Korea, due to its sluggish economy, but the rest of Asia/Pacific showed positive growth, IDC said.

Gartner said EMEA shipments were up 12.6 percent over a year ago, as the Stamford, Conn.-based firm expected, with most demand at the entry level. In the third quarter of 2004, Gartner found 30 percent growth in India; 29 percent in Latin America; 19 percent in Australia; and 11 percent in China.

Gartner's numbers are preliminary; final results will be given only to paying customers, the company said.

Dell remained the top vendor for the third quarter in terms of shipments, according to both analyses. Gartner calculates it had 16.8 percent of the market, with growth of 20.9 percent year-over-year. IDC put its share at 18.2 percent, on year-over-year growth of 20.7 percent.

Second-place HP held a 15 percent market share, per Gartner, with growth of 9.5 percent year-over-year. IDC calculated its share at 16.2 percent and its growth at 9.1 percent for the year.