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Thursday, October 19, 2006
HP tops Dell in global PC sales

Hewlett-Packard bested Dell as the leading seller of personal computers worldwide for the first time in nearly three years as growth in the overall market slowed, market research surveys showed.

A survey released late Wednesday by Gartner Inc. said that HP took 16.3 percent of the global market in the third quarter with 9.65 million units shipped. Dell meanwhile saw its market share slip to 16.1 percent with 9.54 million units.

A separate report by International Data Corp. showed the two companies nearly even with 17.3 percent of the global market, but HP marginally ahead in the number of units shipped.

Both surveys showed the overall market losing steam and growth fell from a double-digit level.

Gartner said the global market saw a 6.7 percent increase from the same period last year with the US market down 2.0 percent -- the first decline since 2002.

The IDC report showed 7.9 percent growth in the global market and a 0.7 percent decline in the US market.

Analysts said HP took advantage of changing market conditions that hurt Dell. "HP continues to take better advantage of the faster growth segments such as the consumer market. The company's share trajectory reflects its improvements in operational execution and changes in marketing," said Mikako Kitagawa, analyst for Gartner.

"Dell felt the effects of the weak sales in the US market, and it gave up some ground." "This quarter's results show a similar volatility to last quarter, with strong international sales and growth in portables reflecting continued demand while we saw weak results for Dell and the US market overall," said Loren Loverde at IDC.

"Dell has had some negative publicity recently regarding its battery recall but it is hard to attribute the third-quarter results to bad publicity alone. Dell will likely be very aggressive in the fourth quarter, and we will see how similar battery recalls affect other vendors. These factors may cut into fourth-quarter growth, but overall we don't see a broad threat to fourth-quarter growth."

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