Dell Struggles, HP Gains in Global PC Sales

New market research figures from IDC and Gartner Research. show a shifting landscape in the world of PC manufacturers as long time leader Dell continues to struggle—and may have already lost its first-place standing to a resurgent Hewlett-Packard in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Sales numbers compiled by Gartner Research show a strong fourth quarter for HP while Dell found itself struggling to combat a decline in worldwide market share. According to Gartner, HP pumped out almost 11.7 million PCs worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2006, about 2.2 million more units than for the same quarter of 2005, for a total year-over-year growth of 23.9 percent. Meanwhile, market-leader Dell actually saw negative year-over-year growth as its worldwide unit shipments slumped to 9.4 million units, a drop of 8.7 percent. Worldwide, that means HP took the number one spot, moving 2.2 million more units than Dell in the fourth quarter of 2006. In the U.S., Dell still held on to the number one spot, but just barely: Dell shipped 4.6 million units compared to HP’s 4.1 million units. But Dell should be worried: its numbers represent a year-to-year decline of 17.3 percent, while HP’s represent a yaer-to-year increase of 16 percent.

Fourth quarter figures from IDC tell a similar story. During the worldwide, IDC found HP shipped 11.9 million units compared to 9.6 million in the same quarter in 2005, an increase of 23.8 percent, while Dell’s shipments declined 8.4 percent year-over-year from 10.5 million units to 9.7 million units. IDC also still has Dell in the top slot for the fourth quarter in the U.S., moving 4.8 million units to account for about 28 percent of the market—but that’s a 16.7 percent drop compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, when the company shipped 5.7 million units. And HP saw strong gains, jumping from 3.5 million units to 4.1 million units, an increase of 15.9 percent and enough to capture 24 percent of the U.S. PC market during the fourth quarter.

For the full 2006 year, IDC still puts Dell on top with 39.1 million systems shipped world wide, but HP is right behind with 38.8 million systems sold—the numbers represent a 3.6 sales increase for DEll, but a 19.2 percent increase for HP. Rounding out the top five: Lenovo with 16.6 million units, Acer with 13.6 million units, and Toshiba with 9.8 million units.

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