iSuppli: Dell Barely Edged HP in 2006 Sales

Market research firm iSuppli has weighed in on the battle for the title of number one computer maker, noting that while Dell was the only majo manufacturer to sell fewer computer during the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to the same quarter the previous year, the company had build up enough of a lead to keep rival Hewlett-Packard from claiming the top sales spot. But just barely; for the year, Dell sold 0.3 percent more computers than HP.

According to iSuppli, HP beat Dell in overall sales during both the third and fourth quarters of 2006, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome the lead Dell established earlier in the year. But HP’s sales numbers are strong, shipping 11.6 million PCs during the fourth quarter of 2006, an increase of 21.1 percent compared to the same quarter in 2005. In comparison, Dell shipped 9.5 million PCs during the last quarter of 2006, which represented an 8.6 percent drop in shipments compared to the same quarter in 2005. If trends continue, HP is likely to unseat Dell as top PC manufacturer during 2007.

Other leading computer manufacturers might be seeing their rankings shift as well. China’s Lenovo managed to hold on to third place during the fourth quarter of 2006, but it’s lead over rival Acer declined to just 348,000 units. During 2006, Acer increased its unit shipments at almost twice the percentage rate of Lenovo, putting Acer in a position to challenge Lenovo for the number three spot during 2007.