Dell disputes figures from market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC) that the internet-based vendor was ranked third in New Zealand PC sales in the third quarter.
Dell head Ross Allan believes deliveries to customers of more than 9000 Dell PCs in the three months to the end of September would outstrip actual Hewlett-Packard PC sales in the same period. But IDC ranks HP second, behind Compaq.
"I don't know the extent to which either of those stuff the channel but I think we stand a pretty good chance of being in the number two spot," Allan says.
Dell doesn't believe its sales, which don't go through resellers, can be compared with those of other PC vendors. Allan maintains those PC vendors which sell through distributors and resellers routinely pressure the channel into holding stock which has not actually been sold.
But IDC analyst Mark Cribbens says such a strategy could only work for a single quarter since distributors are keen to keep stock moving.
"If they did stuff the channel it would even out from one quarter to the next," Cribbens says.
He says the Dell claim is also discredited by the fact that much of the sales growth in the third quarter was a result of deals done by systems integrators, which often deal directly with vendors and don't hold stock.
IDC says Compaq accounted for nearly a quarter (24.1%) of the 92,302 PCs sold in the third quarter.
Local PC makers' share of sales fell to 30.2% during the quarter, compared to about 35% in the previous three months.
IDC predicts total sales in 2000 of close to 330,000 PCs, about 7% up on last year.