Dell rides ris­ing tide to re­claim No. 2 spot

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS & PERSONAL FINANCE -

Mar­ket re­search group IDC said Wed­nes­day that global ship­ments of per­sonal com­put­ers climbed 22.4 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter as busi­nesses re­placed ag­ing com­put­ers and con­sumers con­tin­ued to buy in­ex­pen­sive lap­tops.

Dell Inc. re­claimed the No. 2 spot in world­wide mar­ket share, rid­ing a rise in cor­po­rate spend­ing on technology.

The growth came in half a per­cent­age point less than pre­dicted be­cause of slightly lower per­sonal com­puter ship­ments in the U.S. and Asia.

IDC an­a­lyst Loren Loverde

said the group is likely to re­duce es­ti­mates for the cur­rent quar­ter and the rest of the year slightly, but he still calls the in­dus­try’s per­for­mance in the quar­ter “quite good.”

Hewlett-Packard Co. re­mained the world’s top com­puter maker, fol­lowed by Dell and Acer Inc. Len­ovo Group Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and AsusTek Com­puter Inc. rounded out IDC’s top six.

Con­sumers still sought out low-end lap­tops and net­books — note­book com­put­ers that are even less ex­pen­sive but also less pow­er­ful.

How­ever, Loverde said, con­sumer PC buy­ing seems to be slow­ing in the U.S. as big busi­ness spend­ing picks up. That has helped Dell over­take Acer for the No. 2 spot. Dell had slipped to third place in the third quar­ter of 2009.

In the in­terim, how­ever, cor­po­rate spend­ing on technology has picked up. That’s cru­cial for Dell, which re­lies on com­mer­cial cus­tomers for the bulk of its rev­enue.

In the U.S., PC ship­ments rose 12.6 per­cent. H-P, Dell and Acer were the top three. No. 4 Ap­ple Inc. shipped 15.4 per­cent more of its Mac com­put­ers in the quar­ter. Toshiba was fifth.

Busi­nesses that stopped buy­ing new technology dur­ing the worst of the re­ces­sion have started re­plac­ing PCs, IDC says. That con­trib­uted to the rise in the quar­ter.

But Loverde said the in­dus­try should not ex­pect to see a dra­matic surge in de­mand for PCs in the com­ing months.

As PC pro­ces­sors be­come more pow­er­ful, it’s not as im­por­tant for many busi­nesses to fur­nish em­ploy­ees with the most up-to-date technology. So more com­pa­nies are hang­ing on to older com­put­ers longer and re­plac­ing them as needed, Loverde said.

In all, mak­ers shipped 81.5 mil­lion PCs in the quar­ter.

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