Some good news for the slow-growing chip industry: Worldwide PC shipments continue to grow at a healthy 14.1 percent growth rate to 21 million units in the first quarter, according to new statistics released Monday by Dataquest.
The San Jose, Calif., market research company said the first quarter results are in line with its projection of PC unit growth of 15.6 percent in 1998.
"In spite of concerns about channel inventory and a decelerating U.S. market, our estimate of 14 percent is consistent with leading market indicators," said Scott Miller, senior industry analyst in Dataquest's Personal Computer Systems and Peripherals program. "The differences in vendor growth rates point to the growing importance of execution and supply chain management."
U.S. PC unit growth increased at a stronger rate than the worldwide total, said Dataquest, which said it estimated 7.8 million systems were shipped in the United States during the first three months of the year. That total was 16.2 percent higher than last year's 6.7 million in the first quarter, Dataquest said.
Compaq again was the leader of PC shipments in the first quarter with 2.65 million units delivered worldwide, an increase of 39.2 percent over last year's 1.9 million total. IBM was No. 2 with 1.61 million units shipped compared to 1.55 million, a growth of only 3.3 percent. Dell's strong 66.1 percent growth pushed it to No. 3 with 1.54 million units shipped compared with 927,000 in the first quarter last year.
Hewlett-Packard had the strongest percentage growth in the first quarter 72 percent. Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP shipped 1.33 million PCs in the first quarter compared with 773,000 last year, according to Dataquest.
"There are signs that Compaq's inventory is shrinking slightly, and Dell is positioned to take advantage of both the Pentium II transition and customer movement to Windows 95," Miller said. "We believe the secret to Hewlett-Packard's success lies in the company's supply-chain management and its ability to execute."