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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.





"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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