HP accounted for 19.1 percent of the worldwide PC market in the first quarter of 2007, and the number of computers it shipped in the quarter increased 28.2 percent compared with the first quarter of 2006, according to a report released by IDC on April 18.
HP has been able to gain market share during the last few quarters at the expense of Dell, which saw its worldwide share shrink to 15.2 percent in the first quarter. Overall, Dells shipments dropped nearly 7 percent compared with the first quarter of 2006.
In the United States, Dell continued to maintain a slight lead over HP, but its market share continued to decrease. In the first quarter, Dell controlled 26.8 percent of the U.S. market, while its shipments decreased 14.4 percent from 2006. Meanwhile, HP claimed 24.2 percent of the market and its shipments increased 25 percent compared with the same time last year.
Overall, the PC market grew 10.9 percent in the first quarter of 2007, according to IDCs analysis. This was a marked increase from the single-digit growth of the previous three quarters and was higher than the firms forecast of 8.5 percent.
The demand for mobile PCs, such as laptops and ultraportable PCs, as well as consumer PCs, drove growth in the first quarter, as did the the release of Microsofts Windows Vista operating system, IDC said.
Sales of commercial hardware continued to be sluggish.
"The key market drivers—portable adoption and consumer demand—continue at a healthy clip, and commercial replacements should contribute more in coming quarters," Loren Loverde, an analyst with IDC, wrote in the report. "Growth is likely to stay in double digits over the next two years, although it will be concentrated in portables and international markets."
As for Dell, the IDC analysts found that the companys portable shipments grew in the international market, but its U.S. portable shipments slipped.
"Dells limited presence in retail was also a key factor, as consumer shipments declined rapidly while commercial volume was more stable," the report said.
Dell has also been stung by increased competition from HP and other international PC makers, such as Acer, that have started to pick away at the companys share of the worldwide market. In addition to weak PC sales, Dell has also been hampered by financial and legal problems, including a probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Acer, which is based in Taiwan and has a U.S. subsidiary, had the best quarter of any PC maker in terms of international shipments. The companys worldwide market share in the first quarter stood at 6.7 percent and its shipments increased 41.4 percent from the same time last year.
That first-quarter showing was good enough for Acer to tie with Lenovo for third place in the worldwide market, according to the IDC report. Lenovo saw its own shipments increase 17 percent compared with the previous year. IDC noted that Lenovo was able to increase its PC shipments in both Europe and United States.
In the worldwide market, Toshiba was ranked fifth in the IDC study. The companys market share stands at 4.3 percent.
In the U.S. market, Dell and HP were followed by Gateway, which claimed 7.2 percent market share. However, the companys shipments decreased by 6.3 percent compared with the first quarter of 2006, according to IDC.