PC Sales Grew 22% in '99, 2% Less Than Expected

FRAMINGHAM (01/24/2000) - The year 2000 bug slowed global PC sales by 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 1999, but sales still grew nearly 22 percent over 1998, Dataquest, a division of Gartner Group Inc., said today.

Worldwide, shipments topped 113.5 million units, Dataquest said.

In the U.S. alone, the market grew 21.6 percent in 1999 over the previous year, with 43.8 million units shipped.

"There had been concerns that Y2K shutdowns in large business, government and education segments would slow growth in the market in the second half of 1999, but the numbers indicate it had only limited impact on overall growth in the PC industry," said Charles Smulders, an analyst for Dataquest Inc. in San Jose, Calif.

Dataquest's findings for the market growth in 1999 are very similar to predictions made by International Data Corp. (IDC) late last year. Worldwide, IDC found that 1998 PC shipments increased about 12 percent over 1997 and that 1997 global shipments were about 15 percent above the previous year.

Compaq Computer Corp. remained the top vendor worldwide, while Dell Computer Corp. surpassed others in the U.S. for 1999.

Globally, Compaq had 13.2 percent share of the market, with more than 15 million units, while Dell had 9.8 percent share with more than 11 million units.

Dataquest includes in the PC category desktops, deskside units, notebooks, ultraportables, laptops and transportables, but not PCs marketed with servers.

Smulders predicted growth in 2000 will slow by 4 percent from 1999 levels. Much will depend on the industry's ability to persuade their customers to replace PCs more frequently. Businesses will be interested in getting smaller, less complex and cheaper products, he said.

Here are the global market share and unit sales of the other top PC vendors:

IBM 7.9 percent share, with 8.9 million units; Hewlett-Packard, 6.4 percent share and 7.2 million units; Packard Bell NEC, 5.2 percent share and 5.9 million units; Gateway, 4.1 percent share and 4.6 million units; Apple, 3.4 percent share and 3.8 million units. All others totaled 50 percent of the shipments with 56.7 million units.

In the U.S, Dell led with 16 percent share and 7 million units followed by Compaq at 15.7 percent share and 6.8 million; Gateway at 9.1 percent share and 3.9 million; HP at 8.7 percent and 3.8 million; IBM at 7.2 percent and 3.1 million; Apple at 4.4 and 1.9 million and all others at 38.9 and 17 million units.

Dataquest said that the worldwide growth figures for 1999 were high but didn't surpass the 27 percent increase in 1995 over the previous year. Growth in 1996 was nearly 18 percent. In 1997 the increase was 15.2 percent and in 1998 was 15.8 percent.

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