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IDC: PC Shipments Dismal in Q3

The worldwide PC market weathered a double-digit decline in the third quarter, according to market research firm IDC.

Dell Computer Corp. alone among major PC makers managed to increase shipments and grow market share. Compaq Computer Corp. took a particularly hard hit.

"The September 11 attacks and subsequent events further accentuated an already difficult economic environment," Tom Copeland, an IDC analyst, said in a summary of the report released Wednesday evening.

Shipments declined 13.7 percent over the third quarter of 2000. In raw numbers it was a drop from nearly 34 million units in Q3 2000 to about 29 million in Q3 2001.

The difference amounts to a sequential drop over the previous quarter of 0.8 percent. That compares to an average sequential gain for the quarter of about 15 percent for the past several years.

Contributing factors aside from the Sept. 11 attacks include the HP-Compaq merger, companies in receivership, Taiwan typhoons and the possibility of further political instability, IDC says.

"Deferred buying became the standard in many countries, as large PC procurement projects failed to materialize or were delayed," IDC notes.

The U.S. market for PCs fell harder. PC makers shipped 10.3 million units in the third quarter after delivering 13 million units for the same quarter in 2000. It's a drop of 21 percent. A slight seasonal uptick in back-to-school sales and an increase in public sector purchases appears to have been cut short by the terrorist attacks, according to IDC analyst Roger Kay.

Dell, through aggressive pricing and its quick response time, increased shipments and grew market share both in the United States and worldwide, IDC finds.

Dell widened its U.S. share considerably and overtook Compaq in the quarter as the worldwide shipment leader. Dell's U.S. market share now stands at 26.4 percent, while its worldwide market share is 14.5 percent.

Compaq labored under a number of problems such as uncertainty about the HP merger, logistics-related supply shortages in the United States and typhoons in Taiwan. It saw its U.S. shipments drop by more than 50 percent in the third quarter, and its worldwide shipments fall by almost 32 percent.

Where Compaq was close behind Dell in U.S. shipments last year with 17.3 percent of the market to Dell's 19.7 percent, Dell now holds a commanding lead. Its 26.4 percent is now more than 15 percentage points better than Compaq's 10.7 percent.

HP sank worldwide, except in notebooks. HP PC shipments in the United States dropped 33.2 percent. Worldwide they declined 25.5 percent.

IBM shipments fell only 6.7 percent in the United States but dropped 18 percent worldwide. Gateway was up slightly sequentially in the United States but off 31.5 percent against the year-ago quarter

U.S. market share in PC shipments

  • Dell 26.4 percent
  • Compaq 10.7 percent
  • HP 9.3 percent
  • Gateway 7.9 percent
  • IBM 6.7 percent
    Source: IDC

  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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