Compaq retained its crown as the number one vendor in the worldwide PC market last year, but lost its lead in the US to direct-selling rival Dell.
According to the latest figures from both IDC and Dataquest published this week, Compaq maintained its number one ranking worldwide with market share at 13.2 per cent. However, Dell posted the strongest growth rates among the top tier vendors and moved past Compaq to number one in the US.
Last year Dell held a 9.8 per cent market share worldwide, but achieved a 16 per cent share in the US. This compared to Compaq's US market share of 15.7 per cent last year.
In the US, Dell shipped 2.1 million units in the fourth quarter, a year-on-year growth of over 50 per cent. Compaq's growth rate in the US for the quarter was 17 per cent.
According to Dataquest, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway and Apple, all showed double digit growth rates both worldwide and in the US. HP's success was driven by sales into the home market and Apple's growth was boosted by the launch of several new products during the second half of the year.
Dataquest said that despite difficulties with component supplies, Gateway's growth rates exceeded 30 per cent, remaining a top five vendor in the US.
IDC said that although IBM continued to struggle in the US market due to its pulling out of the retail market and the Year 2000 related slowdown, it was also able to remain in the US top five of PC manufacturers.
Looking forward to 2000, Dataquest said it expected the worldwide and US market growth rates to slow by about four per cent compared to 1999.
Dataquest analyst Charles Smulders said: "Much will depend on the industry's success in convincing their customers to replace PCs more frequently."
"Key factors will be the industry's ability to bring smaller, less complex, cheaper products to the business market and industrially designed products to the home," he said.
IDC yesterday reported a drop in spending on PCs by European businesses during the fourth quarter of last year.
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