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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 October, 2003, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Global PC sales take off
Dell factory
Dell retained its topspot
Strong consumer demand led to about 15% more personal computers being shipped between July and September than in the same period a year earlier, new figures show.

Dell, which has embarked on an aggressive cost-cutting strategy, narrowly retained its position as the world's largest manufacturer of computers, continuing to outstrip its close rival Hewlett Packard.

The research from two firms, Gartner and IDC, confirmed the recent trend that PC sales are finally beginning to take-off after the technology slump.

But the growth was driven by consumers snapping up notebook computers rather than businesses.

Market share
Dell 17.4%
HP 17.1%
IBM 5.9%
Computer manufacturers have been desperately waiting for signs of renewed spending from businesses, who tighten their IT spend during tough times.

The willingness of firms to spend significant amounts of cash on upgrading computers is also closely-watched as a sign of a wider economic turnaround.

Profit rises

IDC said that corporate spending on PCs in the US remained selective but began to show signs of improvement.

"Consumers in particular have reacted to low prices and wireless features. Although commercial spending remains cautious, even this segment is making some progress," IDC analyst Loren Loverde said.

On Wednesday, IBM's chief executive Sam Palmisano said that while the company was confident that corporate IT spending would bounce back in line with an economic turnaround, it remained too soon to mark the start of a recovery.

Both IBM and Apple unveiled a jump in profits when they unveiled results on Wednesday night.

And Germany's SAP, the world's leading maker of business software, said on Thursday that its net profit rose by 25% during the third quarter.

But the improvement came primarily from cost-cutting since sales fell slightly during the same period.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Computer Active magazine's James Harding
"Prices have come down consistently during the year, particularly in the notebook PC market."



SEE ALSO:
IBM cautious on tech recovery
15 Oct 03  |  Business
Dell makes grab for market share
21 Aug 03  |  Business
Why PCs are still a hard sell
21 Aug 03  |  Business
Hewlett Packard still struggling
19 Aug 03  |  Business
Dell Computer sees profits jump
13 Feb 03  |  Business
Hewlett Packard disappoints
27 Aug 02  |  Business
Profits rise at IBM
14 Apr 03  |  Business


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