Gartner: PC sales continue slow recovery in Q3

Worldwide PC sales in the third quarter of 2002 were 5.8 percent higher

than in the same quarter last year at 32.2 million units, according to

figures from Dataquest Inc., a division of Gartner Inc.

But the latest growth figure is not much cause for optimism given that

last year's third quarter was one of the worst on record for the PC

industry, with sales down 12.4 percent over the third quarter of 2000,

Dataquest said.

According to Dataquest, continuing weak economic conditions are causing

companies to put off replacing PCs, despite an increasing need to do so

as pre-Year 2000 machines come to the end of their life cycle. The

replacement cycle would have begun this quarter if the world economy was

in a growth phase, Dataquest said.

The PC replacement cycle will likely not begin until the middle of 2003,

assuming that the global economy picks up early next year, Dataquest

said.

The two weakest areas for PC sales were Japan and Latin America, which

recorded a decline in sales. The other regions -- the U.S., Europe,

Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia/Pacific all showed single-digit

growth, Dataquest said.

Dell Computer Corp. overtook Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) to become the

leading PC vendor worldwide. Dell's shipments grew by 20.7 percent over

the year to reach 5.07 million units. HP (with Compaq included) saw

sales fall by 3 percent to 5.04 million units but has begun to stem the

sales decline it experienced in earlier quarters, Dataquest said.

More than 30 percent of PCs sold worldwide in the third quarter were

either Dell or HP machines, according to Dataquest figures

IBM Corp. came a distant third with unit sales of 1.96 million, followed

by Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. Toshiba was one of the best-performing

manufacturers, growing sales by 20.4 percent to top 1 million sales for

the quarter.

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