Toshiba goes from nowhere to top 5

Toshiba has nearly doubled its shipments and leapt into fifth place in an expanding worldwide PC market.

Toshiba has nearly doubled its shipments and leapt into fifth place in an expanding worldwide PC market, according to preliminary Dataquest figures. In terms of units shipped, the market as a whole grew by about 16% in the third quarter of this year compared with the corresponding period last year.

Toshiba had announced it was aiming for a top five berth when it launched its desktop products earlier this year, and the notebook giant appears to have achieved a 94.7% increase in units shipped largely before the release of its Infinia desktop range in the US.

Both Dataquest and IDC agree that Compaq occupies the top position after a strong quarter and IBM is in second place.

Locally, according to IDC figures, Compaq also had a strong quarter and, as expected, retains the top position in terms of PC sales. IBM is in second place followed by PC Direct, Digital and Toshiba.

While the worldwide PC market is expanding, and the Asian region in particular is achieving high rates of growth (China at 109% and the regional average at 34%, according to IDC), the New Zealand market has shown a remarkable individualism by shrinking in comparison with the same quarter in 1995.

Compaq New Zealand marketing manager Tony Lambert agrees that the local market has slowed. "The interesting thing about the results so far this year is that the market is static or even declining. It's not great and there is a margin for error, but I would suggest the market is at least flat if not slightly declining."

Lambert believes that past-year figures may have been overstated, but also that "the economy was in very good shape particularly two years ago and maybe last year and has slowed somewhat. I also believe that the industry is not providing enough incentive to buy. I think they're holding off for some sort of technology leap instead of technology step."

Also notable in the international figures was Apple, which retained third place according to Dataquest and was fourth according to IDC, on a 27.5% drop in unit shipments. According to the IDC figures Dell was in fifth spot having achieved 50% growth for the quarter worldwide.

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