PC shipments up, but at a cost

According to a Gartner report, the global PC market grew 16 percent in the second quarter, a surprising figure given the stagnant economy. With the high cost of gasoline and rising food prices, not many people have anything left. But it appears that this rise in sales came at a cost. The Gartner report notes that the rise came at the expense of revenues, since vendors have slashed prices to drive sales.

An interview with Gartner quotes the analyst as saying he was surprised that the price cuts were so high, and that some of the smaller PC vendors may not survive the declines in average selling price. The report placed Hewlett-Packard firmly in the number one spot globally, with 18.1 percent of the market, but within the US, HP dropped to number two, having been outdone by Dell, who took the number one spot. Dell has seen some impressive growth since moving away from its exclusive direct-only sales model to working with retail and other indirect sales channels.

An interesting factoid in the report is that within the US, Apple placed number three in terms of volume, with 8.5 percent of the market, showing 38.1 percent growth compared to the second quarter of 2007. Although it’s not likely Apple’s going to replace the dominant Windows-based machines any time soon, the growth is nonetheless impressive. The popularity of the iPhone, overpriced as it may be, is probably a big factor in driving Mac sales as well.

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