Personal Computer Sales Continue Upward March Compaq Tightens Hold On Top Spot While Hewlett-Packard Climbs To Third Place

The personal computer market continued to grow robustly in the second quarter as new technology and competitive prices drew more business customers, according to two research groups.

Dataquest Inc. and International Data Corp. said in reports to be released today that international and domestic PC markets enjoyed double-digit growth in the April-May period.

Compaq Computer Corp. strengthened its No. 1 position in both markets while Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. enjoyed hefty gains.

Researchers expected demand to increase in the second half of the year. PCs with multimediaenhancing MMX chips and pleasing price tags, along with a new class of $1,000 machines, should attract plenty of home and small-office buyers, they said.

“There’s a product transition … which is always good news for the market. And you’ll see competitive pricing from the top-tier (companies), which should certainly drive sales,” said John Brown, an IDC analyst in Mountain View, Calif.

IDC reported that worldwide PC shipments totaled 18.2 million during the April-June period, up 15 percent from the same period of last year. Shipments in the United States totaled 7.2 million, up 19 percent.

Dataquest said second-quarter global shipments reached 18.9 million, up 17 percent from a year ago and U.S. shipments totaled 7 million, an increase of 21.9 percent.

Both companies said Compaq’s worldwide shipments jumped 42 percent in the April-June quarter, expanding its market share to nearly 12 percent. IBM retained its No. 2 worldwide ranking, seeing shipments rise 20 percent.

Researchers were impressed by Hewlett-Packard and Dell’s performance. HP, offering new Omnibook computers at a time when demand for portables is growing, rose to No. 3 after falling out of the top 5.

IDC reported that HP’s shipments jumped 48 percent; Dataquest reported a 58.4 percent increase.

No. 4 was Dell, the largest direct seller of computers in the United States. Its global shipments rose 61.4 percent according to Dataquest and 52 percent according to IDC.

Completing the top five in terms of worldwide shipments was Packard Bell-NEC, which Dataquest said had 1.7 percent fewer shipments in the second quarter than a year ago. IDC said Packard Bell-NEC’s shipments rose 5 percent.

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