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HP edges past Dell in global PC shipments for the third quarter

Dell has been sitting in the driver's seat for PC shipments ever since the fourth quarter of 2003. That all changed during the third quarter of this year as Hewlett-Packard eased into the first place position. According to the latest figures from Gartner Dataquest, HP saw its worldwide shipments climb by 15% to 9.65 million units. Dell, on the other hand, saw its shipments rise by just under 4% to 9.54 million units.

"We are delighted to have reclaimed the number-one share position in a period where we also achieved profitability and revenue milestones," said HP executive CP Todd Bradley.

Analysts point to HP CEO Mark Hurd as the reason behind the company’s change of fortune. Hurd took over for Carly Fiorina in 2005 and has made great strides in trimming HP’s workforce, cuttings costs and boosting revenue.

Dell shares dropped by 6.19% to $23.17 today upon the announcement of the news. Dell depends heavily on its US operations for PC sales and a 7.1% slide in US shipments gave HP an opening. "The rate of growth reflects our efforts to rebalance our execution in areas such as pricing, growth outside the U.S. and improved customer experience," said a spokeswoman for Dell.

An analyst for Banc of America Securities wasn’t so optimistic. "If the company is unable to meet revenue estimates during a robust PC demand environment, how will the company be able to meet expectations during a weaker, slowing growth environment,” wrote Keith Bachman.

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By Targon on 10/20/2006 9:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
Remember the 2.5 years where the Athlon 64 was considered a much better processor than the P4 by many/most in the tech crowd? It took that long for the word to get out, but it did finally start to get around that Intel had competition. Since most end-users just don't know, they look at price, and go by the suggestions given 4-6 months ago for desktop computers.

So, the whole "Dell doesn't make an AMD based computer" really does come into the picture here.

The retail market is also key in this as well. Many people don't like the idea of buying something they can't see before they buy. How does the keyboard feel, or how big is the screen, and where the various connectors are located all play a part. Older customers don't necessarily buy online or over the phone as well, just because they don't trust it. So, as older buyers look to buy computers for the first time(instead of going with an old computer given by a relative), they go retail, and they see HP/Compaq, they see Gateway, they don't see Dell.

Dell also has gotten a bad reputation due to their outsourcing to India. Corporate customers may get decent tech support, but the average customer ends up talking to someone in India, and MANY people here in the USA don't like it. They don't like the idea of outsourcing jobs to other countries. HP has tech support centers located all over the place, and as a result, for an HP desktop computer, tech support has a good chance of being based in either the USA, or Canada.

This is why HP moved ahead of Dell, though we will see what happens this holiday season. Dell may re-take the lead, or HP may hold strong. I know that I prefer HP to Dell for many reasons, and it would take a LOT to convince me that for the average user, Dell is a good choice.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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