Dell Reclaims PC Leadership Spot

Dell garnered 16 percent of sales worldwide last quarter, edging ahead of HP, which grabbed 15.5 percent.

Dell Computer Corp. has regained its crown as the worldwide leader in PC sales, according to a new report, but the news wasnt totally bad for the dethroned Hewlett-Packard Co.

HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., saw its U.S. sales surge 15 percent during the third quarter, well above the 6 percent rise for total U.S. sales.

While the report by International Data Corp. is touted as a PC survey, the study also counts unit sales of Intel-based servers priced up to $25,000, which would account for a majority of the $5 billion in Intel server sales last quarter.

Another survey by another market research company, Gartner Dataquest, on Thursday declared Dell and HP in a dead heat in worldwide PC sales.

IDCs results for the third quarter showed growth in worldwide PC and low-end server sales rising 3.8 percent, in line with the research firms earlier 4 percent projection, and U.S. sales climbing 6 percent, slightly better than its forecasted 4.3 percent growth rate.

Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, garnered 16 percent of sales worldwide, edging ahead of HP, which grabbed 15.5 percent of total units sold. Last quarter, HP garnered 15.1 percent of the worldwide market, while Dell netted 14.8 percent.

"The interesting news here is not that Dell took the No. 1 rank from HP worldwide by half a point of share—that was expected—but how well HP did in the U.S.," said IDC analyst Roger Kay. "HP grew sequentially 15 percent and Dell grew 16 percent, so they both gained share in the U.S. at the expense of everyone else. But thats particularly good news for HP, which for the last six quarters saw its and Compaq [Computer Corp.s] shares slip over concern about their merger. Now, within a quarter of closing the merger, the companys stabilized and even increased sales."

HP in May acquired Compaq for about $19 billion.