HP Ranks First In Latest PC Sales Figures

HP slightly edged out Dell for the most PC shipments in Q4 2003, but Dell held on to the top spot for the year-end totals.

From IDC’s press release:

Competition in the PC market remained fierce during the fourth quarter of 2003 as notebook adoption continued and consumers reacted to falling prices. Worldwide PC shipments were in line with forecasts, growing 15.2% year-on-year to 44.6 million units, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Commercial demand showed some signs of recovery and consumers remained active during the holiday season. Strong growth in Europe and sustained notebook demand were key sources of growth, although limited supply of flat panel displays constrained shipments for some vendors. On an annual basis, shipment growth moved into double digits for the first time since 2000, boosting shipments to a record 152.6 million on growth of 11.4%.

With its strong retail presence and holiday promotions, HP was able to sustain growth for the quarter at more than 21% year-on-year, capturing the top spot in worldwide shipments from Dell for the first time in a year. For its part, Dell sustained growth of nearly 20% year-on-year, achieving record volumes in all regions and consolidating its market lead on an annual basis.

“We continued to see solid growth following seasonal trends,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. “Caution in the commercial market has begun to dissipate, even as companies keep tight control on spending. Meanwhile, pricing remains cutthroat, supporting unit growth but reducing profits.”

“It was a good finish to a great year,” said Roger Kay, vice president of client computing at IDC. “Price attracted buyers at holiday time, and vendors like eMachines and HP benefited from consumer activity in retail. Although the majors took in the richest harvest, even non-branded vendors managed to grow share. IBM’s performance was reflective of a recovering enterprise sector.