Dell still leads the world in PC shipments as the industry appears to following a healthier growth pattern, according to data from market researcher IDC.
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The total number of PCs shipped in the second quarter was 33.2 million units, up 7.6% compared with the same period last year. Growth came in ahead of IDC's expectations of 4.1%, as consumers increased their buying amid historically low prices.
Dell shipped 5.9 million units in the quarter, up 28.9% from the same period last year. Dell also increased its PC market share to 17.8%. Hewlett-Packard also posted a solid quarter, shipping 5.4 million units in the second quarter, up 13.3% from last year's second quarter. But it remained behind its main rival Dell for the top spot worldwide for the second consecutive quarter after taking the lead in the fourth quarter of 2002.
IBM trailed the top two companies with shipments of 2.2 million units in the quarter, up 11.9% from last year's second quarter. Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Toshiba rounded out the top five PC companies worldwide.
Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, warned yestersday that second-quarter growth might be a reflection of short-term pricing strategies, but he expected an increase in corporate spending to keep the market going.
Corporate spending in this quarter is likely to have increased, Loverde said. "The overall growth rate suggests that there is some recovery there, but we'll have to see how that turns out." he said.
Because an anticipated recovery in 2002 fell short, IDC has been hesitant to declare that any type of broader recovery is under way without more data, he added
The US PC market grew by 8.1%, a higher rate than expected, IDC said. Growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa was also slightly above forecasts as consumers and small businesses snapped up cheap desktop PCs and new notebooks.
Asia-Pacific endured a difficult quarter because of the Sars outbreak, but business did not drop off as much as expected, and has recovered faster than expected. Growth declined compared with the first quarter of 2003, but is expected to improve during the third and fourth quarters.
IDC will report shipments for the US after Gateway releases its quarterly earnings report next week.
Top five PC suppliers - second-quarter figures
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Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service