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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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RE: Dell's computers are ugly
By Taft12 on 4/16/2009 4:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
A machine that lasts 10 years from now should still be useful for a lot of tasks outside of gaming, so reliability does matter. You'd save money not only on the computer, but the labor of replacing it, etc....

A fine comment, but the very nature of this story reveals Dell and HP are not at all interested in building a PC that lasts 10 years. Try shipping 60 million PCs a year when a PC lives that long.

The masses have spoken and they are not interested in a high-quality computer at a premium price, they want something for $299 at Best Buy. Unfortunate but true.

RE: Dell's computers are ugly
By TA152H on 4/16/2009 5:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't really referring to the masses, as I mentioned, I was only talking about a relatively small percentage.

In reality, the masses haven't spoken as you say. Look at Apple. They sell a bad computer at a high price. How about a good computer at the same price? If there's a market for Apples, and there certainly is, there's a market for the type of computer I'm talking about.

I wasn't really saying HP or Dell, although even with them, it could work. The margins are paper thin on the machines they sell now. A higher cost computer, could have higher margins, and you'd have a lot of brand loyalty. It's not like Intel where you can't really gain market share, since you have most of it. If a maker can produce a very appealing computer that isn't a commodity, they can gain market share. Look at Apple, again, for an example, and their computers aren't so appealing, and don't represent engineering excellence.

RE: Dell's computers are ugly
By Radnor on 4/16/2009 5:37:56 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunate but true.

Joe Consumer wants the best possible quality with the lowest possible price. I agree with competition but i hate when a company deteriorates the product so it can sell it cheaper.

As i said before, the factories that "make" Dells, HPs, Apples of this world are basicly the same 3 or 4. So for me it is all the same. I've been in this bussiness for 15 years as a professional and although we all agree that price for the PC has fall down alot, the quality has come down aswell. Not really on the outside, but more on the inside. Joe Consumer loves shiny things.

This is more obvious on the laptop area. In Desktop you can still buy very good, solid and durable hardware if you want to pay a bit more. I don't say shell out 300$ for a motherboard, but on 150-200$ you can already find pretty good material in this specific case. All GPUs i owned to this day still are in working condition and you can add old things like 2xVoodoo 2 12mb in SLI. My lil'bro still plays WoW on a Athlon XP 1500+ with a 9600XT. And that's a old machine that i can't imagine the amount of hours it has on its back.

As for the gamer commentary i just have one thing to say, software isn't keeping the pace with hardware. I don't talk about multithreaded apps, or Open CL. Mainstream software/usage is far from taking advantage of the processing power inbuilt in a normal PC. As for gamers, we are still pulling the industry a bit forward. We are the tweakers, overclockers, reviewrs, modders and all that fine hobbies we have.

All i think it is a shame that in Laptops didn't happen what happen in Desktop Land. No ATX/BTX/AT/etc/ standarts were made, so firms chocke holded on proprietary designs.

That basically allowed them to make the crap they wanted. Of course Joe Consumer wants cheap, so i guess he deserved it.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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