Gartner analysts said global shipments were impacted by slower sales in the U.S. market. PC shipments in the U.S. grew 5 only percent in the third quarter, compared with expectations of more than 8 percent.
"U.S. home notebook shipments were strong during the quarter, but desktop demand was much weaker, which brought down back to school shipments overall," said Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group.
On a vendor basis, Dell extended its unit share lead both worldwide and in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2004. Dell performed particularly well in Europe, as its shipments increased 36.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
On a regional basis, the Europe, Middle East and Africa region performed in line with expectations, as shipments were up 12.6 percent compared to a year ago. Mobile PC growth continues to drive the market, but the strongest growth in demand remains at the entry level price points, which reinforces pressure on margins.
In the Asia/Pacific region, India was clearly the strongest growing market with a whopping 30% increase and Australia also showed a strong shipment increase with a growth rate of 19 percent.. Shipments in China grew 11 percent, however a major concern going forward is the impact of government control measures to prevent overheating of the Chinese economy.
PC shipments in Latin America grew 29 percent in the third quarter. The strong shipment increase is attributed to PC replacement demand, lower interest rates, flexible PC vendor purchasing programs, broadband deployment and better system specification/price point positioning.