PC market figures make grim reading for Dell

PC market figures make grim reading for Dell

Vendor takes a pounding as it loses its grip on the US consumer market

Worldwide shipments of PCs were slightly higher than expected for the first quarter for 2006, according to new data from analyst firm IDC.

Shipments for the quarter increased 12.9 per cent, beating the firm's 11.8 per cent forecast.

"Market growth ahead of forecasts in almost all regions reflects continuing strong demand," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

"While this bodes well for the short term, Dell's relatively slow growth may set the stage for more aggressive pricing in coming quarters. While this would help drive volumes, it would not help profitability."

HP and Gateway demonstrated above average growth, but Dell and Fujitsu Siemens lost market share.

Dell is still the world's largest PC maker with a share of 18.1 per cent, but IDC noted that the company is losing momentum.

Growth in the US has nearly stalled at one per cent. Dell lost ground in the US retail segment, while maintaining its hold on the enterprise market. The vendor fared significantly better in Europe and Asia.

Fujitsu Siemens, meanwhile, saw its growth in Europe plummet from 30 per cent in the first quarter for 2005 to 11 per cent this year.

IDC attributed HP's surge to a renewed focus on channel sales and an aggressive push in the consumer market.