Computer makers saw worldwide shipments increase by more than 15 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2007, but analysts have warned that growth is likely to slow over the next few years as the credit crunch bites.
Analyst firm IDC, which yesterday released its latest quarterly tracker report on global PC shipments, said that while 2008 and 2009 were likely to continue to produce healthy double digit growth, this will slow in the years ahead.
Dell bumped up its worldwide shipments in the final quarter of 2007 buoyed by its retail expansion in the US, although its overall growth in that region was down four per cent for the year.
Despite this, IDC reckoned the computer giant - which in the past year has seen market share drop and arch rival HP speed ahead of the firm to take the number one spot - could be showing signs of a recovery.
The firm saw worldwide growth of 17.1 per cent for the fourth quarter, while market share rose to 14.6 per cent, or a 0.2 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2006.
IDC reckoned "the company's rapid expansion in retail [Best Buy, Staples et al]... helped boost volume and address competition from other leading players".
Elsewhere, HP continued to dominate the industry, scooping up a 19 per cent share of the worldwide market. Although growth, particularly in the EMEA market, slowed from its mid-2007 peak, it still outshone rivals with the exception of Acer.
Taiwan-based Acer saw a massive growth spurt in Q4 of 60 per cent as it swallowed up Gateway and plumped up its presence in many regions achieving a 9.6 per cent global share of shipments for the period, said IDC.
Lenovo saw a third consecutive quarter of growth over 22 per cent, according to the report propped up by its distribution network, direct sales and its mid-size enterprise customers. However, IDC said it may struggle to maintain growth above 20 per cent as the market slows.
Gartner also released figures yesterday in which it ranked the computer companies in the same order as IDC for Q4 worldwide PC shipments. ®