*NEWS*HP WIDENS LEAD OVER DELL

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*NEWS*HP WIDENS LEAD OVER DELL

 user 2007-01-18 at 11:09:00 am Views: 52
  • #17033

    HP widens lead over Dell in PC world market
    Hewlett-Packard extended its lead over Dell in the worldwide personal computer market in the fourth quarter, according to a report by two technology research firms.The analyses from the firms, IDC and Gartner, produced slightly different numbers but the same general results: With overall PC sales unspectacular, HP managed to outpace the rest of the market and lead the worldwide tally of PC sales for the second quarter in a row.Sales of PCs increased about 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Gartner, while IDC pegged the rise at 8.7 percent. Both firms noted declines in the U.S. market, the second consecutive period with a domestic slump.One culprit appeared to be heavy competition from flat-panel television sets and other consumer electronics over the holiday season.Also, many people may have been holding off on PC purchases because of the Jan. 30 consumer release of the new Windows Vista operating system from Microsoft. But analysts at both firms said the Vista effect was hard to measure — many consumers just as likely took advantage of low PC prices that manufacturers offered to clear their inventories before Vista arrives.For all of 2006, PC sales rose around 9 percent to about 230 million. The leading vendor for the year was Dell, but just barely. Dell and HP each registered 16 or 17 percent market share in the IDC and Gartner tallies. Lenovo Group was third with 7 percent, while Acer had 6 percent and Toshiba 4 percent.HP ate away at Dell’s dominance by outselling its rival in the third quarter and keeping it up in the fourth. HP’s sales jumped 24 percent in the fourth quarter — its best such period since 2000 — while Dell’s sales dropped about 9 percent. The shift left HP with 17 to 18 percent of the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, to Dell’s 14 to 15 percent.The trend tracks the opposite directions that Dell’s and HP’s stock prices have been heading the past two years. HP has retooled itself as a leaner giant under its chief executive officer, Mark Hurd, while Dell has struggled with strategic questions, an accounting investigation and huge laptop battery recall.Dell remains the leading vendor in the United States, with about 31 percent market share in all of 2006, according to IDC. HP was second at 22 percent, followed by Gateway at 6.7 percent, Apple at 4.7 percent and Toshiba at 4.3 percent.Even with the Vista launch, Gartner expects PC sales to only slightly increase their pace in 2007, with 9.9 percent growth in units sold. IDC expects to see a slightly better rise.China’s Lenovo Group, which bought IBM’s PC unit in 2005, remained in third place with 7.3 percent of the worldwide market, IDC said. Lenovo’s North Carolina-based PC division shipped 4.77 million units worldwide, an increase of 8.5 percent from a year earlier.