Channel Helps HP Win Market-Share Battle

HP knocks Dell from top spot as PC shipments grew 29.7 percent last year and 25.5 percent in fourth quarter

Shipments of Hewlett-Packard PCs rose 25.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, thanks in part to HP's strong relations with channel partners, according to new research from iSuppli. For the year, HP knocked Dell from the top spot, shipping 49.6 million PCs to Dell's 39.7 million.

The research firm noted that HP's 29.7 percent sales increase last year was more than double the growth rate achieved by the entire PC market. In comparison, Dell, which historically has relied on direct sales rather then sales through VARs and other resellers, posted annual growth of just 1.7 percent.

"Hewlett-Packard has capitalized on its strong channel presence and its strength in the fast-growing notebook PC segment, allowing it to attain and maintain market leadership," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for iSuppli, in a prepared statement.

For all of last year, iSuppli said HP led with a 18.5 percent market share, compared to 14.8 percent for Dell, 9.1 percent for Acer, 7.5 percent for Lenovo and 4.2 percent for Toshiba. Apple (which scored a 2.9 percent share in the fourth quarter) and a variety of other vendors took small pieces of the remaining 46 percent of the market.

During the fourth quarter, HP's market share grew to 19.1 percent, while Dell stayed fairly steady at 14.9 percent. HP, Acer and Toshiba each registered 25 annual year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter, while Apple's sales during the same period jumped 39 percent.

"It was an eventful 2006 for the PC market," Wilkins noted. "Dell and HP swapped places, as did Acer and Lenovo" He added that HP capitalized on its existing strength, while Dell "grew new relationships." The company rolled out its first channel sales program late last year in an effort to battle HP.

Although HP topped Dell for the fourth quarter and the entire year, Wilkins noted that Dell shipped 11.3 million units in the fourth quarter, a 17.4 percent increase over the same quarter one year ago. That was a huge increase from Dell's 1.5 percent third quarter year-over-year increase and an indication that Dell's new channel program appears to be gaining some traction.

According to iSuppli, Apple, despite its relatively small market share, saw its fourth quarter year-over-year sales grow 39.3 percent. The increase was fueled by its new machines that can run both the Mac OS and Windows. "Apple's reinvigorated Intel microprocessor-based products obviously are striking as chord with PC buyers," said Wilkins.

TAGS: Windows,search,IT,Apple,Intel,research,Dell,Mac,HP,CA,VAR

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