Global PC shipments increased by about 20 per cent during the first quarter of 2000, according to separate studies by researchers IDC and Dataquest.
Worldwide shipments of PCs increased by 15 per cent, driven by strong sales in Asia Pacific, Japan and Latin America, said Dataquest, while IDC reported a volume increase of 20 per cent year on year. Healthy consumer demand and continued expansion of the Asian markets propelled worldwide shipments to 30.4 million units, said IDC.
The figures differ between the two researchers because Dataquest does not include server sales.
According to IDC, Compaq retained its top global spot, fending off competition from the second largest PC vendor, Dell Computer. Hewlett Packard and Emachines showed the most impressive growth in the US, boasting increases of 74 per cent and 80 per cent respectively.
In contrast, IBM saw global shipments fall by about 15 per cent because of the Year 2000 slowdown and an upheaval in the consumer market, said IDC. Dataquest lists NEC as the number five seller in the world, while IDC ranked Fujitsu-Siemens in that position.
Dataquest analyst Charles Smulders said sales in Korea, Japan and the Middle East were particularly strong. He said Europe, which represents a larger market, experienced lower than expected shipments.
Weak sales of commercial PCs in Europe were offset by stronger sales of home PCs. "From a worldwide perspective, there are some concerns," said Smulders.
He added that while the future for international sales appears bright, thanks in part to the economic recovery in the Asia Pacific region, the outlook for the US market is more cloudy.
At the same time, IDC reported that internet demand and lower PC prices in Western Europe continued to drive consumer sales, while strong PC interest from small and medium-sized businesses also fuelled volume expansion.
Bruce Stephen, IDC group vice president of personal systems research, said: "Commercial market demand has started to stabilise in most major regions of the world and purchase patterns should return to more normal rates during the second half of the year."
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