Dell continues to bleed market share

Figures from the Gartner Group for PC shipments during the fourth quarter of last year underline continuing weakness for Dell.

While HP showed 19.8 percent market growth in the fourth quarter, and Taiwanese PC company Acer grew by 13.5 percent, Dell only grew by 11.5 percent, compared to a figure of 13.3 percent in the same quarter in 2008.

This is in the face of the strongest growth rate in seven years in the PC market – although Gartner cautions that the fourth quarter of 2008 was very weak because of the economic crunch.

The growth in the PC market was down to low priced consumer mobile PCs – notebooks and netbooks. Dell’s strength is in the commercial and corporate sector and it declined to join a price war in the market, in a bid to preserve its profits.

The launch of Windows 7 did not create additional PC demand, but, said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, “was a good market tool during holiday sales”.

As far as territories go, the USA and Asia Pacific did best during the fourth quarter – Europe has been slower to recover. Nevertheless all regions showed positive shipment growth.

Ms Kitagawa said: “Aggressive promotion by PC vendors and channels stimulated consumer PC demand. However some vendors made damaging price cuts to increase market share.”

This table is courtesy of the Gartner Group.

Prelim worldwide PC vendor unit ships for Q4 2009 (thousands of units)
Company
Q4 09
Mkt Share
Q4 08
Mkt Share
Growth
HP
17,792.2
19.8%
14,239.9
19.3%
24.9%
Acer
12,188.2
13.5%
8,612.7
11.7%
41.5%
Dell
10,397.1
11.5%
9,839.3
13.3%
5.7%
Lenovo
7,836.5
8.7%
5,509.3
7.5%
42.2%
Toshiba
4,811.9
5.3%
3,668.1
5%
31.2%
Others
37,008.5
41.1%
31,855.4
43.2%
16.2%
Total
90,034.5
100%
73,724.7
100%
22.1%

HP became number one vendor in the US, beating Dell. Dell “struggled to retain its share in the consumer market. Dell had trouble keeping its share in that market and, said Ms Kitigawa, “could not win the severe price battle in the retail space”.

In the US, the top five companies were HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba and Apple. Apple had a 7.5 percent share in the marketplace for the fourth quarter of 2009.