The worldwide growth rate for PCs slowed to about 16 per cent in the third quarter of 1996 but the industry is poised for a strong final quarter and another robust performance next year.
These were the forecasts from market research companies Dataquest and IDC. Dataquest increased its growth forecast for the whole year to 15.5 per cent, in terms of units shipped, up from the 13.6 per cent growth it estimated at the beginning of the year. IDC predicted 18.5 per cent worldwide growth for 1996 and 16.6 per cent in the U.S. market.
According to the researchers, Dell has been the star performer of the third quarter, achieving a 50 per cent growth rate in the US market, although Compaq continues to dominate the worldwide market, increasing its overall share to 10 per cent.
Apple?s worldwide market share slid to 5.6 per cent in the third quarter and IDC claims that the slide may continue in the current quarter, but should improve next year when the company brings out its new portables and more aggressive pricing. IBM remains a fierce second place rider on the tables, only one per cent behind Compaq in market share, and Packard Bell is third in line, and expected to bounce back in the fourth quarter.
Dataquest said Toshiba nearly doubled its laptop shipments in the quarter to reach the number five position worldwide, while NEC still dominates the Japanese market sufficiently to take the number four position.
Both researchers agree that the PC market is likely to be ever more crowded this Christmas, with several Japanese consumer electronics giants diving deeper into the desktop PC market, namely Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony.
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