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Michael Dell, Dell CEO
Apple comes in fourth in U.S. shipments

With consumers not spending money, sales of PCs and other electronics are nearing their lowest points ever. Despite poor shipments, some categories like netbooks continue to post impressive growth.

The latest shipment numbers from IDC for the U.S. are in and HP has kicked Dell off its perch at the top of the PC shipper list for America. IDC reports that overall global shipments for the quarter were down 7.1% to 63.5 million units shipped.

IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell said in a statement, "HP's dethroning of Dell as the U.S. market share leader and extending its worldwide market share lead is a testament to the company's solid record of business execution over the last several quarters and indicates Dell still faces some challenges in its efforts to reignite its business."

Dell has struggled to turn around as it sheds employees and closes facilities in massive cost cutting measures to help it better compete in the marketplace and become more profitable. IDC reports that the global shipment numbers were better than it had expected. IDC predicted the drop in global PC shipments would be 8.2% from the previous quarter, but the drop was 7.1% according to the firm.

Gartner's numbers for the quarter look a bit different with the drop in global shipments at 6.5% and 67.2 million units shipped. According to both Gartner and IDC, the netbook category is continuing to drive PC sales. The firms both reports that some improvement has been seen in the PC market with inventory levels falling, but Gartner and IDC have different opinions on the impact. IDC reports that it expects production to be stable over the next quarter with Gartner saying the restocking isn’t an indication that consumer demand is improving.

Gartner's George Shiffler said, "We are seeing some evidence of channel inventory restocking, particularly in the United States. This restocking should not be interpreted as a recovery in PC end-user demand; it's still unclear if the global PC market has hit the bottom."

Intel leans more towards the findings of IDC with an announcement this week that it believes the bottom of the market has been reached. The top five PC vendors globally, in order, were HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba. In the U.S., the rankings were HP, Dell, Acer, Apple, and Toshiba.

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Another way to interpret that...
By Motoman on 4/16/2009 11:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
..."HP sucks less than Dell"

In all honesty, any experiences I've had with Dells have been pretty horrible, although in fairness somewhat better lately than they used to be. HP has always been a better bet.

For laptops you don't really have choices - you buy one made by a major OEM. If you need a desktop and can't build it yourself, my recommendation is always to get one from a local shop in your area. You will likely pay more, but it will almost certainly be of higher quality and you'll get better customer service.

By Aloonatic on 4/16/2009 11:18:39 AM , Rating: 2
Over here in the UK dell are not viewed that badly, at least in the circles that I move in. That's probably more to do with the competition that they face however, rather than anything else.

I can't think of anyone who has thought of buying HP until very recently, certainly not on-line anyway as their site (over here) is pretty awful, at least Dell's is easy to use and informative.

For the average home user that I have ever talked to the options are Dell via the internets or a computer bought from the high-street, where PC World is the biggest player. PC World and other high-street retailers have got a bad reputation from years ago in the days of Packard Bell and E-Machines computers that were by and large utter junk. They have since started to sell more Compaq (HP I think) machines and Dells as well.

I totally agree with you that the best bet is a local builder, but often people are not interested in that over here, maybe it's a culture thing? I know that I prefer to build my own.

A lot of people here went the PC World route first and then bought their next PC from Dell which was usually much better quality so they are not held in as such low regard at it seems that they are in the USA.

I enjoy going on their site from time to time, just to see how much they charge for "up grades", they sure know how to charge for things.

By jonmcc33 on 4/16/2009 4:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, in the past 11 years of my IT career I've seen solid products out of Dell. Their PowerEdge servers have been great. The only real bad egg were their slim line Optiplex 270 series that had nasty capacitor issues due to lack of airflow in such a compact design. But their Optiplex GX520, 745 and 755 series have been great. Their Latitude laptops have all been improved greatly over the years.

Regarding customer support, I've never had a problem with Dell. HP on the contrary though was horrible in my experience with them. Their computer support was the worst and when trying to get printer support I have usually been bounced through 4-5 different people before getting the proper help.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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