Framingham (MA) – PC shipments grew 10.0% in 2006 to a total of 228.6 million systems, according to IDC. Over the course of the year, the market research firm noticed a slowdown of growth, with the fourth quarter dropping from 9.1% in Q3 to 8.7% and 65.6 million units.
“This was a busy quarter, with the release of Vista for commercial users and the pending release for consumers on top of the ongoing transition to Portables and a generally slowing market,” said Loren Loverde, an analyst with IDC. “Add to that the changing pricing environment and segment dynamics and it was a very challenging quarter.”
According to Loverde, “HP clearly was able to capitalize on the situation, solidifying its lead in worldwide quarterly shipments with a 3.4% share advantage over Dell.” HP was able to grow its Q4 sales by 23.8% year-over-year, from 9.6 to 11.9 million units. Dell lost units and market share, with shipments dropping from 10.5 to 9.7 million units during the fourth quarter.
Lenovo and Acer finished the quarter in third and fourth place, with sales of 4.7 and 4.6 million units, respectively.
Gateway dropped out of the top-5 and traded places with Toshiba, which shipped 2.4 million PCs.
IDC said that Apple saw another quarter of “very solid growth as the company combined new portable products with strong retail sales and positive press following a successful transition to Intel processors.” The market research firm estimates that Apple’s worldwide and U.S. shipments were each up roughly 30% year on year.