Monday, June 30, 2008

Analysts: Dell reclaims market share, but HP is gaining faster

Somebody needed to tell the world's PC manufacturers there was a recession scheduled for the first quarter of 2008. Anyway, they didn't seem to pay much attention to those warnings, and iSuppli thinks the industry looks pretty healthy.

For the last two years, analysts both with iSuppli and other firms have said that a healthy worldwide PC market had to grow at an annual rate of 12%. Despite what's generally perceived as a global economic slowdown, the annual rate of PC shipments was 12.1% at the end of March, based on numbers released by iSuppli today.

All of the world's top five suppliers got good news from this report, and it may be Dell that needed it most. It gained half a point of market share in Q1 2008 over Q4 2007, and is now shipping 15.4% of the world's PCs -- just under 8.9 million units, 20% more than at this time last year, though Dell had a lot of ground to gain back.

Acer's brand consolidation strategy is paying off, at least in the numbers department. Its market share is now in the double-digits, shipping an estimated 6.1 million units, or 10.5% of the world's market share, now that Acer has thoroughly incorporated Packard Bell, Gateway, and eMachines brands. Believe it or not, that's not as fast a rate of growth of any of the other top five, but Acer certainly isn't slowing down.

Yet the runaway freight train continues to be Hewlett-Packard, whose general direction still defies gravity. HP shipped an astonishing 13.2 million units in the first quarter of the year, up 23.3% over Q1 2007. Estimates for the previous holiday quarter had HP shipments at nearly 15 million units, so only slipping that much into the seasonally slower first quarter is a clear sign of health and well-being.

Lenovo and Toshiba round out iSuppli's top five, with 6.9% and 4.4% market share, respectively.

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