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HP Unseats Dell as Top PC Maker

New market research reports from both Gartner and IDC show the computer maker Hewlett-Packard has edged out direct marketer Dell to take over the top spot among PC manufacturers worldwide in the third quarter of this year. According to both companies, the overall PC market grew by just less than 7 percent, but HP edged out Dell in total sales either by 110,000 PCs (according to Gartner) or about 28,000 PCs (according to IDC). Dell still commands the top spot in the U.S. market with over 30 percent marketshare, but HP made domestic gains as well, raising its share to between 22 and 23 percent.

The new assessments come as both companies are trying to mitigate damage from recent events: HP’s board has bee rocked by scandal and resignations following a clandestine, possibly illegal operation to track down a board room leak, and, to date, Dell has taken the brunt of the recent recalls of Sony-made laptop batteries, being forced to replace some 4.1 million batteries. Sony just placed the total number of batteries to be recalled at 9.6 million, meaning nearly 43 percent of the possibly defective batteries shipped with Dell systems.

Gartner and IDCs reports also contains a few other surprises; for instance, Apple Computer saw unit shipments increase more than 30 percent in all market regions except Japan, with Gartner pegging the company’s market share for the third quarter at 6.1 percent.