Apple's 4Q Shipment Growth Surpasses Top Five Vendors - InformationWeek

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Apple's 4Q Shipment Growth Surpasses Top Five Vendors

Apple's reinvigorated Intel microprocessor-based products obviously are striking a chord with PC buyers, analysts with iSuppli said.

Apple in the fourth quarter posted the highest growth rate in terms of shipments among the top six vendors, but its overall worldwide market share remains small, a research firm reported Wednesday.

That's because other major vendors also easily surpassed the overall growth rate for the industry as a whole, analysts with iSuppli said. Hewlett-Packard, the No. 1 vendor for all of 2007, grew its shipments by 25.5% from the same period a year ago, while No. 2 Dell increased shipments by 17.4%. Rounding out the top five in order were Acer, which saw a 25% jump in shipments; Lenovo, 21.3%; and Toshiba 25.3%.

Apple topped the pack with an increase of 39.3% from a year ago. "Apple's reinvigorated Intel microprocessor-based products obviously are striking a chord with PC buyers," iSuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins said in a statement.

Overall global PC shipments in the quarter rose 14.2% to 76.2 million units, iSuppli said.

Despite Apple's strong performance, the vendor stayed in the No. 6 position it has held since the third quarter of 2007, iSuppli said. Apple in the fourth quarter had a 2.9% market share. HP and Dell combined accounted for 34% of total worldwide PC shipments.

There was some movement in rankings among the top five vendors. Acer, which acquired Gateway in the fourth quarter, rose to No. 3, displacing Lenovo. The market share of the vendors was 9.5% and 7.6%, respectively. No. 5 Toshiba had a 4% share.

Dell, which fell to No. 2 behind HP in mid-2006, showed signs of recovery in the fourth quarter. Its shipments were up 14.1% from the third quarter, which was the largest sequential increase among the top six brands.

"The upswing in year-over growth compared to the prior quarter and the strong sequential rise in shipments come as encouraging signs of recovery for Dell," Wilkins said.

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