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Worldwide PC Market Shows Tepid Growth in Q3
Oct 21, 2002
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Worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter of 2002 increased 5.8 percent from the same period last year, but there were still few signs of industry improvement, according to preliminary results from Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. While the industry did grow, Gartner Dataquest analysts pointed out that during the third quarter of last year the PC industry was impacted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"In the third quarter last year, the worldwide market declined 12.4 percent compared to the previous year, in part because of the shipment stoppages immediately following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11," said Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. "Therefore, in the third quarter of 2002, year-on-year growth rates artificially inflate the true shipment picture."

Despite difficult market conditions, Dell's worldwide PC shipments grew 20.7 percent in the third quarter of 2002, and its market share in the U.S. reached 28.9 percent. Hewlett-Packard showed some improvement in the third quarter of 2002, arresting the pace of decline the combined companies had experienced in previous quarters.

"Dell grew in most regions, but the market share gains were particularly strong in the U.S. market," said Todd Kort, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. "In the U.S. market, Dell showed significant growth in the home market, fueled by a series of sales promotions targeting consumers.

"HP is still managing the integration of Compaq, especially outside of the United States. For example, in Germany, HP and Compaq will not become a single legal entity until November 2002," Mr. Kort said. "At this stage in the merger process, HP's performance in the third quarter is encouraging."

Economic conditions continue to dissuade many corporations from replacing PCs, despite an increasing need to do so as pre-Y2K machines come to the end of their life cycle. If this was a growth-orientated economic environment, Gartner Dataquest analysts said the replacement cycle would have begun this quarter.

"However, in the current environment, and with no economic upturn expected until the first quarter of 2003 at the earliest, this is unlikely to happen until the middle of next year," Mr. Smulders said. "In the meantime, organizations will have to bear the cost of maintaining older machines and the risk of lower productivity."

On a regional basis, the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia/Pacific all exhibited single-digit growth during the quarter, while Latin America and Japan had decline in shipments.

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