April 19, 2002, 12:00 AM

PC sales making a slow recovery, IDC reports

Worldwide PC shipments declined 2.7% in the first quarter of 2002 from Q1 2001 to a total of 31.4 million units, according to IDC. The decline was milder than expected.


Worldwide PC shipments declined in the first quarter of 2002, slipping 2.7% year on year and 8.9% sequentially to a total of 31.4 million units, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report released today. The decline, however, was milder than the expected decline of 5.4% year on year.

“The good news is that the market is no longer contracting rapidly, and the gains made in the fourth quarter have not evaporated,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. “Nevertheless, we have yet to see key segments return to significant growth. The year-on-year comparison was much easier this quarter but emerging markets are struggling to maintain positive growth, the commercial segment continues to invest cautiously, and consumers will not come back into the market in force until later in the year.”

Shipments in the United States were nearly on par with a year ago, as the market moved from decline to recovery. First quarter shipments were down 0.4% year on year, while a sequential decline of 6.1% was modest compared to the historical average of a 10.4% drop.

“We’re in slack-water conditions,” said Roger Kay, director of client computing at IDC, ”that period between the tides when the sea is fully out but has not yet come back in. The good news is that the U.S. market has truly reached low tide and is turning around, albeit slowly.”

Growth of notebooks continue to outpace desktops in the United States. Consumers displayed a slightly-better-than-normal seasonal purchasing pattern, but commercial buyers are still moving slowly, IDC said.

In the U.S., Dell Computer Corp. still leads the market, with a 28.4% share and sales of 3.01 million computers. Compaq Computer Corp., is second at 12.1% with sales of 1.28 million, then Hewlett-Packard Co. at 10.2% (1.08 million), Gateway Inc. at 6.1% (650,000), IBM Corp. at 5.4% (577,000) and all others, 37.7% (3.99 million).

Worldwide leader is Dell at 15.4% share and 4.82 million computers sold, followed by Compaq at 10.7% and 3.36 million units, Hewlett-Packard, 7.5% and 2.34 million; IBM, 5.8% and 1.8 million; Fujitsu Siemens, 5.1% and 1.6 million; and all others, 55.5% and 17.39 million.

Meanwhile, Gartner Dataquest said its research showed that worldwide PC shipments experienced no growth in Q1, with 32.7 million units sold. PC shipments in the United States reached 11.1 million units, a 2.3% increase from the previous year, Gartner said.


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