HP Overtakes Dell for Shipping Most PCs Worldwide for Q4 2006, Apple Grows Fastest in U.S.

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Worldwide PC shipments* grew by 8.7% in the fourth quarter of 2006 compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The big news is that HP stole the show for most PCs shipped in the world over the past three months, knocking Dell off of the top marketshare thrown.

* PC Shipments include both notebook, desktop and x86 server sales.

Dell actually performed worse than Q4 2005 by shipping 9,666,000 PCs in Q4 2006 compared to 10,552,000 PCs in Q4 2005 — that’s an 8.4% drop in volume sales. HP meanwhile grew sales by 23.8%. First place HP shipped 11,900,000 PCs between October and December of 2006.

Volume sales in Europe, Asia/Pacific, Canada and Latin America grew at a good clip, but sales in the U.S. and Japan did not see huge growth gains. Overall, PC shipment growth was up 8.7% in Q4 2006 compared to Q4 2005. Analysts had predicted 10.1% growth, so sales were lower than expected. 65.6 million PCs were shipped overall in Q4 2006.

Companies such as HP, Acer, Toshiba and Apple that saw good growth in Q42006 focused on notebook sales to achieve this growth. Toshiba has almost completely ditched selling desktops and Apple is spending more money marketing notebooks.

HP lead the pack for worldwide sales in Q4 2006:

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide PC Shipments, Fourth Quarter 2006 (Units Shipments are in thousands)
Rank Vendor Q4 2006 Shipments Q4 2006 Market Share Q4 2005 Shipments Q4 2006 Market Share 4Q06/4Q05Growth
HP 11,900  18.1% 9,613 15.9% 23.8%
Dell 9,666  14.7% 10,552 17.5% – 8.4%
Lenovo 4,772  7.3% 4,398  7.3% 8.5%
Acer 4,630  7.1% 3,360  5.6% 37.8%
Toshiba 2,439  3.7% 2,081  3.5% 17.2%
  Others 32,180  49.1% 30,313  50.3% 6.2%
  All Vendors 65,587  100.0% 60,318  100.0% 8.7%


Dell lead in U.S. PC sales volume for Q4 2006, but fell 16.7% from last year while HP gained 15.9%. Apple grew the fastest in the U.S. and moved to #4 computer maker in the U.S. in terms of volume of computers shipped:

Top 5 Vendors, U.S. PC Shipments, Fourth Quarter 2006 (Units Shipments are in thousands)
Rank Vendor Q4 2006 Shipments Market Share Q4 2005 Shipments Market Share 4Q06/4Q05 Growth
Dell 4,783  27.9% 5,741  33.3% -16.7%
HP 4,115  24.0% 3,549  20.6% 15.9%
Gateway 1,138  6.6% 1,145  6.6% – 0.7%
Apple 808  4.7% 614  3.6% 31.8%
Toshiba 804  4.7% 703  4.1% 14.4%
  Others 5,502  32.1% 5,487  31.8% 0.3%
  All Vendors 17,150  100.0% 17,240  100.0% -0.5%


Regional Outlook for Q4 2006

  • USA – consumer demand was quite weak and commercial demand slowed considerably in the U.S. HP had a huge quarter though, growing shipments nearly 16% compared to last year. Dell continues to lose ground to HP.
  • EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) – sales in this region continued to grow at a healthy clip, continued notebook adoption, and healthy consumer growth. Slowing commercial demand had a negative impact on growth for Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, and Lenovo. Meanwhile, HP and Acer leveraged grew stronger in this region.
  • Japan – PC shipments receded by more than 10% year on year as the pending release of Vista and competition from flat panel LCD TVs cut into consumer demand.
  • Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) – maintained steady growth as expected, although Taiwan came in short of forecasts in part due to a delayed government tender.

Vendor Highlights

  • HP – keeps on rolling with its momentum, 2006 PC sales ended up being 24% more than 2005 (the fastest growth for HP since 2000) and took a clear lead in worldwide shipment volume for the quarter.
  • Dell – was unable to recover from a slow third quarter 2006 and stumbled through the end of the year. Shipments to the U.S. market, which continue to represent over 50% of Dell volume, were down nearly 17% year on year following a single-digit decline in Q3. Dell is focusing on profitability over market share and as HP, Acer and Apple push ahead to take market share Dell is suffering.
  • Lenovo – continues to do well in Asia/Pacific, but is struggling just about everywhere else. PC shipments to Asian countries represents nearly 60% of volume for Lenovo, meanwhile shipments declined in the United States and Japan as Lenovo struggled with its supply chain and shipping products on time.
  • Acer – had solid quarter Q4 with growth in all regions. EMEA represents roughly 70% of Acer’s worldwide shipments, and grew by nearly 37% in the fourth quarter, but expansion in the United States and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) also contributed to the company’s gains.
  • Toshiba – is focusing on notebooks and shunning desktops, this strategy continues to give the company an edge in overall growth. Worldwide shipments were up more than 17% in the fourth quarter, with an increase of more than 14% in the United States
  • Gateway – sales were essentially flat for Gateway in the U.S. with no growth over last years numbers for the quarter.
  • Apple – had another quarter of very solid growth as the company combined new portable products with strong retail sales and positive press following a successful transition to Intel processors. Worldwide and U.S. shipments were each up roughly 30% year on year.



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