HP has tied with Dell as the overall leading PC supplier in 2006, and has pipped Dell to the top spot for the second successive quarter.
According to analyst firm Gartner, in the fourth quarter of 2006 HP’s worldwide PC shipments increased by 23.9%, giving it a market share total of 17.4%.
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While Dell remained in the number two position in the quarter, its shipments fell by 8.7%, resulting in a market share total of 13.9%.
Dell’s leadership in the first two quarters of 2006 enabled it to keep joint top spot with HP for the full year, but its performance is on a downward path.
Dell was plagued with bad news in 2006. It had to recall 4.1 million laptop batteries after they posed a fire hazard, and it had to delay its second and third quarter results because of accountancy problems it still hasn’t cleared up.
By contrast, HP's boardroom spying scandal, which led to the resignation of the company's chairman, didn’t affect the performance of HP's PC division.
According to Gartner, worldwide PC unit shipments in the fourth quarter grew by 7.4% compared with a year ago. During the quarter, 67.3 million units were shipped.
Gartner analysts said the overall PC market was affected by stiff competition from the consumer electronics industry and the upcoming Windows Vista launch, as potential buyers waited for the latest bundled OS.
Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said, “PC price erosion was a defining feature of the quarter. In the consumer market, the PC industry battled for wallet share against other consumer electronics products, such as games consoles and flat-panel TVs, while at the same time cutting prices to ensure market demand did not stall prior to Microsoft’s Vista consumer launch in January.”
Lenovo was number three in the PC shipment charts, followed by Acer and Toshiba.
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