PC makers report strong gains for quarter

Rumors of a slowdown in PC sales were just that--rumors--as PC sales rose 15% this quarter and expanded the sales growth rate to 16%. The top five PC manufacturers for the quarter, in order, were Compaq (with 10% market share), IBM (with 8.5%), Packard Bell (5.9%), Dell (5%), and Toshiba (4.7%).

Conspicuously absent from the top five is Apple Computer, which shipped 33% fewer computers this quarter than it did a year earlier. Apple's shipments in the first quarter fell to 607,000 computers, down from 892,000 the previous year. This is the first time in over five years that Apple failed to rank in the top five but recent releases, including faster desktop machines and new PowerBooks may help the company this quarter.

The strongest gainer, by far, was Dell, which posted a 62% gain in shipments. Big sellers this quarter included notebooks and under-$1000 PCs. Compaq and Packard Bell's best sellers were PCs that cost less than $1000

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