Dell displaces HP as #1 PC maker

By : |January 16, 2004 0

Elinor Mills Abreu

SAN FRANCISCO: Strong consumer demand, increased notebook sales and falling prices boosted global PC shipments in the fourth quarter and full year of 2003, market research firms IDC and Gartner Inc. said.

Dell Inc. overtook Hewlett-Packard Co. as the top global PC maker for all of 2003 based on units shipped, according to preliminary market figures released by Gartner and IDC.

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard took the top spot from Dell in the fourth quarter, the first time in a year but not surprising for the holiday shopping season given HP’s consumer focus, the market research firm said.

The corporate and professional market showed some growth, particularly in the second half of the year, they said.

While unit shipments grew, total PC revenue, which includes sales of personal computers, laptops and some low-end servers, could be flat due to price cuts, analysts at IDC and Gartner said.

In 2003, global PC shipments grew 11.4 percent from 2002, to a record 152.6 million PCs, up from 136.9 million in 2002, 134.7 million in 2001 and 140.2 million in 2000, said IDC analyst Roger Kay.

During the fourth quarter, the number of PCs shipped increased 15.2 percent year over year, to 44.6 million units, in line with IDC’s forecast, the company said.

According to Gartner’s preliminary figures, global PC shipments totaled 168.9 million units in 2003, up 10.9 percent from 2002.

Fourth-quarter shipments totaled 48.4 million, up 12 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002, according to Gartner, which is projecting growth of 12.8 percent for 2004, said Charles Smulders of Gartner.


For 2003, Dell had 15 percent market share and unit shipment growth of 25.8 percent, followed by HP with 14.3 percent share and 12.3 percent growth, according to Gartner.

IDC’s 2003 figures have Dell with 16.9 percent market share and shipment growth of 25 percent and HP at 16.4 percent market share and growth of 14.5 percent.

International Business Machines Corp. was third, followed by Fujitsu Ltd. and its joint venture with Siemens AG and Toshiba Corp. in the fifth spot, the market researchers said.

In the United States, the 2003 rankings were Dell, HP, IBM, Gateway Inc., and Apple Computer Inc.

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell and Palo Alto, California-based HP have swapped positions during various periods since HP acquired Compaq in May 2002.

“We’ve been driving very hard,” said Jim McDonnell, vice president of marketing and sales for HP’s personal systems group. “It’s a two-horse race between us and Dell and we’re committed to driving our strategy to bring innovation to the marketplace.”

“We have always compared the health of our business on a year-over-year basis,” said Dell spokesman Mike Maher.

“What we have said over time, is that Dell will grow at a faster rate than the market and do so profitably, and we’ve accomplished those goals.”

© Reuters

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