Gartner Says PC Vendors Experienced a Happy Holiday Season with Fourth Quarter Worldwide Shipments Increasing 12 Percent

STAMFORD, Conn., January 14, 2004 — Worldwide PC shipments totaled 168.9 million units in 2003, a 10.9 percent increase from 2002 shipments, according to preliminary results from Gartner, Inc. PC vendors benefited from a healthy fourth quarter, as worldwide PC shipments totaled 48.4 million units, a 12 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2002.

"Strong consumer demand, robust notebook growth and falling prices were the three key driving forces for shipment growth in 2003," said Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. "The professional market also showed positive growth, but it was still slow progress. In the U.S. market, enterprise buyers were still cautious on IT spending, but they did show gradual increases in purchases in the second half of the year."

Dell was the No. 1 vendor in 2003 based on worldwide shipments (see Table 1). However, Hewlett-Packard was the top vendor in the fourth quarter of 2003. HP's strong focus on the consumer market in the United States, and its success in the EMEA region, were important drivers in moving it into the No. 1 position. Dell slipped into second place in the quarter. Gartner analysts said the fourth quarter is typically a weaker quarter for Dell because it has less presence in the worldwide consumer market.

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2003 (Thousands of Units)
Company 2003 Shipments 2003 Market Share (%) 2002 Shipments 2002 Market Share (%) Growth (%)
Dell 25,302 15.0 20,110 13.2 25.8
Hewlett-Packard 24,230 14.3 21,567 14.2 12.3
IBM 8,608 5.1 7,913 5.2 8.8
Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens 6,370 3.8 5,714 3.8 11.5
Toshiba 4,944 2.9 4,233 2.8 16.8
Others 99,402 58.9 92,758 60.9 7.2
Total 168,856 100.0 152,295 100.0 10.9
Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and IA-32 servers.
Source: Gartner Dataquest (January 2004)

Gartner analysts said 2003 would be remembered as the year when the PC industry and consumer electronics industry began to seriously compete with each other.

"The fourth quarter of 2003 was a turning point for several large PC vendors as they entered the computer electronics space, with a portfolio of products that bridged the PC and consumer electronics markets, such as Media Center PC and consumer electronic devices, such as LCD TVs," Smulders said.

The PC vendors' ambitions to move into the consumer electronics market became more apparent in the United States than in other regions. Major vendors that have consumer lines include Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway. These vendors all introduced consumer electronic-related products in the fourth quarter of 2003.

With a focus on the consumer market, U.S. PC shipments totaled 57.7 million in 2003, a 12.4 percent increase from 2002 (see Table 2). Dell and HP were the only top-tier vendors to show a shipment growth rate above the overall industry.

Table 2
Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2003 (Thousands of Units)
Company 2003 Shipments 2003 Market Share (%) 2002 Shipments 2002 Market Share (%) Growth (%)
Dell 15,944 27.6 12,982 25.3 22.8
Hewlett-Packard 10,713 18.6 9,217 17.9 16.2
IBM 2,742 4.7 2,540 4.9 8.0
Gateway 2,015 3.5 2,725 5.3 -26.0
Apple 1,693 2.9 1,701 3.3 -0.5
Others 24,628 42.7 22,187 43.2 11.0
Total 57,736 100.0 51,352 100.0 12.4
Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and IA-32 servers.
Source: Gartner Dataquest (January 2004)

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe. To subscribe to this program, please call 408-468-8000. Additional research can be found on Gartner's Client Platforms Focus Area on Gartner's Web site at

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