“Worldwide shipments of personal computers grew 13.7 percent in the fourth quarter on strong demand from small- and medium-sized businesses and holiday shoppers, IDC reported Tuesday. But a report released Tuesday by another technology research firm, Gartner Inc., put quarterly growth at a more modest 10.9 percent. Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner uses slightly different measurement methods than IDC,” Mark Jewell reports for The Associated Press.
“IDC said it was the seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in PC shipments. The Framingham-based company said the fourth-quarter gain brought full-year growth to 14.7 percent, slightly above the firm’s forecast of 14.5 percent growth when compared with 2003,” Jewell reports. “Gartner put last year’s full-year growth at 11.8 percent.”
“The PC market leader, Dell Inc., distanced itself from No. 2 Hewlett-Packard Co. by posting 21.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter compared with 9 percent for HP, IDC said,” Jewell reports. “Apple Computer… posted strong quarterly gains, IDC said. Apple’s introduction of a new iMac computer and spillover business from the popularity of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s iPod music player helped boost Apple’s PC shipments more than 25 percent.”
“Gartner showed Apple Computer gaining share in 2004, thanks in part to its revamped iMac G5 all-in-one desktop computer. Apple closed out 2004 with 3.2% of the US PC market, up from 2.9% in 2003, and [is] the fifth largest US PC maker, Gartner said. ‘Apple is on a roll right now,’ said Charles Smulders, VP of Gartner’s Computing Platforms Worldwide Group,” Reuters reports.
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MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Mac shipments grew more than 25 percent, according to IDC, while the PC market as a whole grew at 13.7 percent. These numbers were gathered, of course, before the debut of Apple’s new Mac mini. Keep an eye on unit shipments more than market share. If Apple can do well in growing their unit shipments year over year in this quarter, historically their weakest (post-holiday), and continue to grow faster than the PC market as a whole, it will be very good news for the company indeed.