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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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It Pays to Have Support In Country
By jcbond on 4/16/2009 1:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
I've heard a ton of complaints about Dell's support - especially for consumer products. My personal experience covers both HP's business and personal lines of laptops (I alway DIY desktops)
Business - I had to have a battery replaced under warranty. I used HP's website,and downloaded their checkup facility. They agreed the battery was bad and overnighted me another. There was problem with the one they sent. When I called, they didn't bother with the checkup and overnighted me another one. This resolved the problem and I was done when I returned the old batterys using the packaging they shipped. All-in-all relatively painless
Personal - my wife's motherboard was damaged - the computer wouldn't boot. I called the store (Costco - excellent place to buy from. UNBEATABLE return policy) The concierge got HP on a conference call. A few questions, and the next day I had a box to ship the computer in. It was a quick turnaround, too. I think my wife was unable to use her laptop for all of about a week.
So, I'm pleased with HP and how they handle warranty issues. Also, I had to downgrade my laptop to XP. HP's website made it easy to get all the drivers needed, so I'm happy with that. As for the design - their personal lines have a nice design. The worse thing that I can say about them is that the ones that include the separate numeric keypad (which my wife initially wanted since her business is tax analysis) have awkward keyboard dimensions. And the glossy screens have annoying reflections, but who doesn't use them? They are all pretty attractive with nice lines and those inlaid designs.
I'll definitely look at HP before I look at anyone else.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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