July 17, 2003, 12:00 AM

The PC market showed strong recovery in Q2, says two research reports

Gartner reports that worldwide shipments of PCs grew 10% in the second quarter of this year to 32.8 million units while IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker reports 33.2 million units, up 7.6% from a year ago.


The PC market is definitely recovering, say two reports issued almost simultaneously, one from Gartner Inc. and the other from IDC.

Gartner reports that worldwide shipments of PCs grew 10% in the second quarter of this year to 32.8 million units. Gartner says the worldwide PC market has not experienced double-digit growth since the third quarter of 2000.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker reports that worldwide PC shipments reached 33.2 million units in the quarter, up 7.6% from the same quarter a year ago. IDC had projected growth of 4.1%. While IDC’s growth differs from Gartner’s, IDC does agree with Gartner that PC shipments experienced their strongest growth since late 2000.

Both attribute the growth to price competition, and IDC says that broader adoption of laptops helped sales.

Gartner cautions that a good does not make a trend. "The PC industry performed better than expected, which suggests that market conditions are improving," said Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner`s Computing Platforms Worldwide group. "However, sustained improvement will depend on economic conditions and their effect on the business upgrade cycle. Recent Gartner IT Watch survey data confirms U.S. corporate budgets remain tight."

PC sales in the U.S. grew 11.1% from a year ago, Gartner says.

IDC was a bit more optimistic about future sales, but sounded its own note of caution. "The market is definitely moving in the right direction," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC`s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "It seems we dodged a bullet with SARS, and the market remains cautious, but growth in the U.S. and Europe is ahead of schedule and we`re still expecting increased business spending and continued portable adoption. There`s a chance the results are driven by aggressive short term pricing, so I wouldn`t throw caution to the wind, but these are very good results." IDC says U.S. sales grew 8.1%.

The two research groups agree that the market leaders are Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.


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