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Global PC Shipments Double-Digit Expansion

The worldwide PC market continued its solid expansion in the first quarter of 2006 with year-on-year growth of 12.9 percent despite an expected decline from growth of 15.9 percent in 2005, according to IDC.

Nearly all regions were inline or slightly ahead of forecasts for the first quarter, helping boost worldwide shipment growth for 1Q06 to 12.9 percent, slightly higher than IDC's March forecast of 11.8 percent. Portable adoption remained a key trend in all regions and consumer growth appeared relatively strong following the holiday season.

HP and Gateway saw notable surges in growth in the first quarter while growth for Dell and Fujitsu Siemens slowed considerably � particularly in their core markets. HP appears to have benefited from channel efforts and aggressive pursuit of consumers while Gateway made gains in the public sector in addition to the consumer market.

The field of leading vendors performed fairly well in the quarter with market performance inline or ahead of expectations, whereas Dell may have focused on profitability at the expense of volumes, especially in the United States.

"Market growth ahead of forecasts in almost all regions reflects continuing strong demand," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "While this bodes well for the short term, Dell's relatively slow growth may set the stage for more aggressive pricing in coming quarters. While this would help drive volumes, it would not help profitability."

"The U.S. PC market was slightly lower than forecast with about 5.3 percent year-over-year growth versus a forecast of 6.7 percent, with both desktop and notebook PC shipments growing slightly slower than expected," said Bob O'Donnell, vice president of Clients and Displays at IDC. "This quarter saw some important shifts in market share with HP and Gateway outperforming the market and gaining share, while Dell sales were relatively flat and Lenovo slipped out of the Top 5.

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