Worldwide PC Market Posts Nearly 16 Percent Growth in 1997, According to Dataquest

U.S. Market's Growth Outpaces Worldwide Growth Due to Top-Tier Vendors

Hong Kong, January 26, 1998—Despite economic unrest in the Asia/Pacific region, the worldwide personal computer market had another healthy year with 1997 shipments surpassing 82 million units, an increase of nearly 16 percent over 1996, according to Dataquest, a market research unit of Gartner Group Inc. (NASDAQ: GART). The PC industry continues to see the top-tier vendors grow at the expense of the rest of the market.

"Each quarter of 1997 witnessed the continuous consolidation of market presence by an elite few PC manufacturers," said Bill Schaub, vice president of Dataquest's Compupter Systems and Peripherals group. "During the course of 1997, the top four manufacturers captured almost 70 percent of PC unit growth worldwide, with Compaq seizing nearly 30 percent of that total expansion."

The worldwide PC market grew slightly below Dataquest's previous forecast for 17 percent growth. Dataquest analysts attribute this slightly slower growth to the problems in the Asia/Pacific region. Despite the slowdown in Asia/Pacific, three of the top PC vendors grew more than 40 percent in 1997 (see Table 1).

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1997 (Thousands of Units)

                  1997  1997 Market       1996  1996 Market    Growth 
Company       Shipments    Share (%)  Shipments    Share (%)       (%)
Compaq           10,159         12.4      7,132         10.1      42.4
IBM               7,244          8.8      6,108          8.6      18.6
Dell              4,591          5.6      2,828          4.0      62.3
Hewlett-Packard   4,470          5.4      2,867          4.0      55.9
Packard Bell-NEC  3,910          4.8      4,262          6.0      -8.3
Others           51,695         63.0     47,672         67.3       8.4
Total            82,070        100.0     70,870        100.0      15.8
Note: Packard Bell-NEC 1996 calculated as Packard Bell + NEC 
(non-Japan) + ZDS.
Source: Dataquest (January 1998)

The battle for the U.S. PC market between Compaq and Dell did not let up in 1997. These two vendors posted the strongest growth among the top vendors in the United States with Compaq growing 51.0 percent, and Dell growing 67.1 percent, respectively (see Table 2).

"1997's phenomenal growth by the 'elite few' can't be explained by simple 'direct versus indirect' business model distinctions," said Scott Miller, senior industry analyst for Dataquest's Computer Systems and Peripherals group. "Today's winners in the PC industry are those manufacturers that execute flawlessly and capitalize on past brand equity investments."

Table 2
Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1997 (Thousands of Units)

                   1997  1997 Market       1996  1996 Market   Growth
Company       Shipments    Share (%)  Shipments    Share (%)      (%)
Compaq            5,140         16.6      3,404         13.3     51.0
Dell              2,952          9.5      1,767          6.9     67.1
Packard Bell-NEC  2,846          9.2      2,976         11.6     -4.4
IBM               2,747          8.9      2,223          8.7     23.6
Gateway 2000      2,174          7.0      1,608          6.3     35.2
Others           15,141         48.8     13,672         53.3     10.7
Total            31,000        100.0     25,650        100.0     20.9
Source: Dataquest (January 1998)

The Dataquest Alert, "It Was a Very Good Year!" [ ] provides more information on the 1997 PC market. Dataquest's Worldwide Quarterly PC Statistics program surveys the leading PC makers. For more information about Dataquest's Quarterly PC Statistics program, please call 800-419-DATA. More information about Dataquest's programs, descriptions of recent research reports, and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

Dataquest, a unit of Gartner Group Inc., has been providing global market research and consulting services for the high-technology and financial communities since 1971. Dataquest provides worldwide market coverage on the semiconductor, computer systems and peripherals, communications, document management, software, and services sectors of the information technology industry.

As the world's leading authority on IT, GartnerGroup provides clients with a wide range of products and services in the areas of IT advisory services, measurement, research, decision support, analysis, consulting and training. Founded in 1979, with headquarters in Stamford, Conn., GartnerGroup is at the center of a global community of more than 9,000 client organizations served by analysts in 80 locations worldwide. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at [ ].