After retooling its approach, Dell shows signs of life in the race against HP.
A lack of enterprise and consumer spending dragged down U.S. PC shipments in
the first quarter of 2008, although the worldwide demand for notebooks and
desktops remains strong, according to new reports from Gartner and IDC.
The April 16 reports showed that worldwide PC shipments increased by double
digits in the first quarter of 2008 compared with last year, but U.S.
shipments were nearly flat, only growing by about 3 percent during the quarter.
Shipments in the United States
were hampered by reduced IT enterprise spending, with IT managers delaying
hardware purchases until later, and consumers who found themselves with less
money to spend on new notebooks and desktops, said Doug Bell, an analyst with IDC.
"If you look at it holistically, the market was pretty good," Bell
said. "Even in the United States,
you still had positive growth, and on a worldwide basis, our numbers showed an
increase of almost 15 percent, which is really positive growth. Right now,
there's a lot of focus on the United States
because of the economic situation there."
Of the top five PC vendors, Dell had one of the better quarters. Worldwide,
Dell shipped nearly 11 million PCs, an increase of 21.6 percent compared with
the first quarter of 2007, according to IDC.
In the United States,
Dell shipped nearly 5 million PCs and ranked No. 1, ahead of Hewlett-Packard.
seems to have reaped the benefits of switching more of its lineup to notebooks
the hottest part of the market-and its efforts to place PCs on retail shelves
both in the United States
and throughout the globe, Bell
said. This helped increase its sales and it also took some market share away
from HP, he said.
"This is Dell's second straight quarter of good growth and it showed
the company has rebounded from a few poor quarters," Bell
HP remained the No. 1 supplier of PCs worldwide with more than 13 million
shipments in the first quarter, an increase of 17.4 percent, according to IDC.
Gartner offered similar numbers. In the United
States, HP shipped about 3.8 million PCs,
which was about the same as in the first quarter of 2007.
Overall, vendors shipped 69.5 million PCs in the quarter, an increase of
14.6 percent compared with 2007, according to IDC.
The research firm had originally predicted an increase of 13.2 percent. Garter
calculated that 71 million PCs were shipped worldwide in the quarter, an
increase of 12.3 percent.
One reason why the overall PC market was strong this quarter was that
spending in Europe, the Middle East
and Africa increased as those countries took advantage
of the weak dollar and the new
availability of low-cost notebooks
such as the Asus Eee PC, Bell
After HP and Dell, Acer ranked third in terms of PC shipments. Worldwide,
the Taiwan-based company shipped nearly 7 million PCs in the first quarter,
with nearly 1.4 million shipments within the United
States. However, Acer's U.S.
shipments were down more than 18 percent thanks to a drop in Gateway PC
shipments, according to IDC. Acer bought
Gateway in 2007.
Apple had yet another good quarter in the consumer market and the company
also saw an uptick in the number of Macs that it shipped to business users. The
company ranked fourth in the United States
with more than 950,000 shipments, an increase of 25 percent, according to IDC.
Gartner placed Apple's shipments at more than 1 million.
Lenovo shipped more than 4.8 million PC worldwide in
the quarter, an increase of 21 percent. Toshiba shipped more than 3 million PCs
during the same period, an increase of 20 percent from 2007, and ranked fifth
in both the United
and the worldwide market.