Top 5 PC Sellers for Q3 2006 — Dell Still #1 but Slips, Apple Rockets to #4 in U.S.

Top 5 PC Sellers for Q3 2006 — Dell Still #1 but Slips, Apple Rockets to #4 in U.S.

HP is continuing to apply major pressure to Dell in the war of being the #1 in shipping PCs. In overall PC sales worldwide HP and Dell are even, in terms of U.S. based sales Dell is #1 but HP is quickly catching up. Apple is having an extreme amount of success after switching to the Intel platform. Based on Q3 Mac sales Apple is now the #4 computer vendor in the U.S. and grew sales more than any other manufacturer.

U.S. Q3 2006 PC Sales Breakdown

The rankings for PC sales data comes from market analyst company IDC, results are based on some data that is preliminary but thought to be mostly accurate. The numbers used in the rankings includes computers that are Desktops, Notebooks, Ultra Portables and x86 Servers — PDAs and other handhelds are notincluded. Notebooks represented the largest growth area for each company, but no figures are available that break out total shipments by platform type.

Below are the rankings for computer sales in the U.S.:

As you can see, Dell is the only company in the top 5 that actually shipped less notebooks in 3Q06 than they did in 3Q05. As such, HP is closing the gap on the once gigantic market share lead that Dell had in the U.S. However, Dell still sits quite comfortably at the #1 position with about 1/3 of the U.S. market in PC sales.

Apple came from nowhere blowing by Toshiba to become #4 in shipments of computers in the U.S. The huge success of the Intel platform and products such as the MacBook helped them quickly reach this spot. Apple experienced 30% sales growth in nearly every country it sells in except for Japan. A good Q4 will put Apple ahead of Gateway. Since Gateway has stagnated with growth it is assumed Apple will soon bypass them for U.S. sales.

Worldwide Q3 2006 PC Sales Breakdown

The numbers and leader list are quite different when considering the world as a whole. Acer is very strong in Europe and the Middle East which means they are in the top 5 for world shipments. Lenovo dominates in China, so they sit comfortably as the 3rd biggest computer seller in the world when considering that enormous consumer base. Below is the table of standings for Q3 2006 worldwide PC sales:

All vendors experienced growth, and the HP and Dell numbers are so close that they are essentially tied at #1 for worldwide shipment of PCs in Q3. Notice that HP had much better growth compared to its performance last year. Dell grew in the Asia/Pacific region and Latin America, but the loss of growth in the U.S. really hurt their overall standing. HP meanwhile did very well growing in Europe and the U.S.

Acer has always been strong in Europe and did even better in Q3, but struggled in the U.S. to find much growth. Acer also did well in regions such as the Middle East and Asia.

Lenovo did very well in Asia and strengthened in Europe, but marketshare in the U.S. contracted. The sheer strength of their sales in China means Lenovo is doing well and grew overall though.

Toshiba grew its sales overall at a comfortable 20.4% clip. Growth was spread pretty evenly internationally for Toshiba.


As a whole, worldwide PC shipment growth slipped to 7.9% in the third quarter of the year, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Overall growth was down from 9.8% in the second quarter and falls short of double-digit growth over the prior three years.

IDC believes the slower than normal growth is due to a decline in replacement activity and thanks to the delayed launch of Vista as consumers wait for that OS to arrive. but the overall outlook has remained fairly positive.

The focus continues to be on the transition from desktops to notebooks, and accordingn to Bob O’Donnell of IDC “notebook growth being the sole bright spot while desktop shipments continued to decline.”

Regional Outlook and Overview

  • United States– Slower than expected growth from Dell, which represents roughly a third of U.S. PC shipments, weighed heavily on growth in the United States. Overall, portables growth slipped quickly into single digits, significantly constraining the primary market driver. Despite disappointing results in the third quarter, IDC expect vendors to step up promotions in the fourth quarter to sustain growth.
  • Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)– After a slower second quarter impacted by the World Cup and channel inventory clearance, 3Q06 managed to beat expectations at 10% growth. This growth was driven by a buoyant back-to-school season and continued demand for notebooks, although consumer desktop demand continued to lag despite aggressive promotions in retail channels. Recent demand and a relatively clear channel support a solid outlook for the region.
  • Japan– The Japanese market suffered another quarter of declining growth as commercial shipments remained flat and consumer volume fell in the face of competition from LCD TVs and other products. Dell continued to grow in solid double-digits year on year while most of its competitors declined. Still, seasonality played an important roll as Dell saw a sequential decline while top competitors saw volume increase from the prior quarter.
  • Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)– Growth in APeJ remained in double digits, with a strong showing from large regions and market leaders. China met expectations while India and South Korea saw increased demand.

Vendor Outlook and Overview

  • HPhad a very solid quarter, catching up to Dell after trailing its rival since the end of 2003. Growth in the United States slowed from recent quarters, but remained well ahead of the market and Dell. The company also saw important gains internationally, with strong growth in Europe and emerging regions.
  • Dellsaw strong growth in international markets – particularly in Asia/Pacific, Japan, and Latin America. However, growth in EMEA was slightly behind the market, and in the United States, which represents over 50% of its shipments, Dell saw volume decline by nearly 7% year on year with a double-digit decline in desktops. Dell will likely be aggressive with sales for Q4 2006 to regain lost ground.
  • Lenovogrew slightly faster than the market again on the strength of its Asia/Pacific business. The company also saw a positive improvement in its European business. However, a stronger second quarter in the U.S. gave way to further contraction in the United States and Japan.
  • Acercontinues to grow at a rapid pace with solid gains across regions. Growth in Europe – which represent the bulk of the business – improved notably from an already solid base, while growth in other regions was more moderate than recent quarters, but still quite strong. Acer remains well positioned and poised to leverage its position in portables and other growth areas.
  • Toshibacontinued to benefit from strong demand for portables as growth remained solidly in double digits. EMEA, as well as other international markets, remained particularly strong for Toshiba.
  • Gatewayhad a slow quarter, pulled down by lackluster consumer demand in the United States. International shipments grew in double digits and on par with the market. Growth in the U.S. was flat after several quarters of strong gains. Although the soft U.S. market meant Gateway’s growth kept pace in individual markets, the company’s focus on the U.S. limited its overall growth.
  • Applehad a very good quarter with shipments increasing more than 30% in all regions except Japan. The growth is an excellent sign of the success of Apple’s transition to Intel based systems.





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