Toshiba sales lead toppled

Just as Hewlett-Packard sets about digesting the Compaq product range, the latter has for the first time made a clean sweep of every segment of the New Zealand PC market.

Just as Hewlett-Packard sets about digesting the Compaq product range, the latter has for the first time made a clean sweep of every segment of the New Zealand PC market.

Toshiba, the notebook market leader for as long as anyone can remember, has been pushed by Compaq into second place on the portables league table, according to latest market share figures from analyst IDC.

“It’s a bolt from the blue,” says Toshiba New Zealand manager Steve Ford, “but one battle doesn’t win a war.”

IDC’s 2002 first-quarter figures show Compaq with 33.1% of the portables market. IDC reveals only the market leader’s share, but Toshiba is believed to have accounted for about 26% of the total, down about 3% on the previous quarter.

Ford says Compaq had been offering bundling and discount deals “to clear the decks for the new company”.

And according to IDC analyst Darian Bird, Toshiba had supply problems to contend with, which it has now put behind it.

If Toshiba has relinquished the market lead even before Compaq and HP’s sales are combined, that would suggest a tough fight back to the top of the table. But Ford doesn’t agree.

“One and one don’t make two in this situation. There will be those who have made a decision not buy Compaq notebooks.” With the new HP’s product road map indicating the end of the line for the company’s Omnibook range, Ford says that presents Toshiba with an opportunity.

IDC’s Bird believes Toshiba can reclaim the lead, despite lagging the combined companies’ market share by about 10%. But he says the more striking trend in the portables market is the growth in sales of locally assembled machines. They make up part of the “others” entry in the league table (with Sony and Panasonic) which has gone from 2% of the market a year ago to 10%.

Compaq and Hewlett-Packard are one and two in the PC market overall, with Compaq on 20.4%, down from 23.6% the quarter before. Compared with the same quarter last year, sales are down 1.2%. A total of just over 86,000 desktop and portable PCs and Intel servers sold during the first three months of the year.

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Tags pc market

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