Personal computer shipments in the third quarter continued their growth spurt with higher-than-expected figures as Hewlett-Packard narrowed top PC vendor Dell Inc.’s lead, according to figures from two research firms.
ABOUT 38.4 MILLION PCs were shipped worldwide during the three months that ended Sept. 30 — a 15.7 percent increase over last year that surpassed a 10.4 percent growth prediction, said IDC, one of the research firms who released data Wednesday.
Gartner Inc., which uses slightly different measurements, calculated that 42.5 million units were shipped in the third quarter — a 14.1 percent increase from the same time last year.
Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, maintained its top vendor position, with 17.4 percent of the market, according to IDC. But second-place HP, with a 17.1 percent market share this quarter, narrowed the gap with attractive notebook offerings and aggressive pricing, IDC spokesman Roger Kay said.
In the second quarter, ending June 30, HP trailed Dell by 530,000 PCs, but in the third quarter, HP was down only by 128,000 units, Kay said.
Gartner calculated that HP narrowed the gap from 400,000 to 62,000 PCs.
Both firms placed IBM, Fujitsu Siemens and Toshiba in third, fourth and fifth place respectively. Hewlett-Packard and Dell each shipped more than 6 million units, whereas third-place IBM only had 2.2 million.
Both firms attributed the growing market, which started showing signs of an upturn last quarter and gained momentum this quarter, to increased consumer buying and higher demand for portable computers, including laptops.
“People held off on buying new computers for a while and now there’s the pressure to upgrade,” Kay said. “There’s a lot of very aggressive deals and discounts out there, and people are feeling comfortable economically to actually open their wallets.”
Notebooks have also been fast catching up to desktop computers in price and technological capabilities, Kay said.
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