Gartner: HP and Dell Remain Top PC Suppliers Despite Economic Downturn

The latest Gartner report shows that Hewlett-Packard and Dell remain the world's top producers of desktops and notebooks despite the global economic downturn that began with the financial crisis in the United States. At the same time, the push for lower-cost notebooks helped Acer increase its share of the worldwide PC market. Meanwhile, Apple continues to gain share in the United States.

ORLANDO, Fla.-Hewlett-Packard and Dell retained their status as the world's two largest suppliers of desktops and notebooks despite the global economic downturn and increased competition from Acer and other low-cost laptop vendors.

In the third quarter of 2008, HP shipped nearly 14.8 million PCs and retained its spot as the world's top supplier of desktops and notebooks, according to a report released by Gartner during its Symposium/ITExpo here Oct. 14. In the United States, Dell remained the No. 1 supplier and shipped 5.1 million PCs during the third quarter, according to the Oct. 14 Gartner report.

Despite the credit crunch in the United States and the financial crisis on Wall Street that has now spread to the rest of the world, PC shipments increased 15 percent from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008. Overall, PC shipments reached 80.6 million units, according to Gartner.

The growing interest in low-cost notebooks, especially those laptops under $500, helped increase overall PC shipments in the United States as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the United States, PC shipments increased 4.6 percent during the quarter, and low-cost notebooks accounted for about 5 percent of all shipments during those three months. Still, the Gartner report found both the enterprise and consumer markets had slowed down during the quarter.

"The U.S. professional market experienced the biggest hit from the economic crunch," Mika Kitagawa, an analyst with Gartner, wrote in the report. "The U.S. home market saw definite softness in PC sales after a few quarters of strong growth,"

In the United States, Dell was followed by HP, which shipped 4.5 million PCs during the third quarter. While Dell increased its shipments by 6 percent and HP by 4.4 percent, Apple continued to surge ahead in the United States and increased its shipments by nearly 30 percent. On the same day that Apple revealed new laptops, Gartner reported that Apple shipped more than 1.6 million Macs in the United States during the quarter.

Acer, which was helped along by shipments of its low-cost desktops and notebooks, saw its U.S. shipments increase 11.2 percent during the quarter, for a total of 1.5 million units. Toshiba rounded out the Top 5 with 979,000 PC shipments, an increase of 3.6 percent.

In the worldwide market, HP was followed by Dell and Acer, which were practically tied for second place. Dell shipped about 10.1 million PCs globally during the quarter, while Acer shipped about 10 million. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, HP actually trailed Acer during the quarter, according to Gartner.

Lenovo shipped 5.9 million PCs during the quarter, an increase of 8.1 percent, and finished far behind HP, Dell and Acer. Toshiba rounded out the worldwide Top 5 with 3.7 million PCs shipped, an increase of 26 percent compared with 2007.