Dell, the world's number-one PC maker, gets an A in the education market, in which the company's market share is three times greater than its nearest rival. But dominant Dell still wants more. CEO Michael Dell says that the company can still continue to grow in the education market and will continue lowering prices to make that happen.
"Sure we can grow it," Dell said this week. "I think it's fair to say we're going to be growing faster than the market." According to IDC, Dell already controls 44 percent of the market for computers and related products in the education market. Its nearest rival, Apple Computer, owns 14 percent of the market. The other top-five market leaders include HP (11.3 percent), Gateway (6.2 percent), and IBM (3.7 percent). Not only does Dell control the education market, the company has also experienced the market's largest growth spurt. According to IDC, from 1999 to 2003, Dell's shipments increased more than 300 percent whereas the other vendors experienced a combined 4 percent decline.
Dell's success in the education market should come as no surprise. As PCs become a commodity business, Dell's aggressive pricing policies draw in even more business. While the cost of PCs sold to schools dropped an average of 38 percent during the 1999 to 2003 time period, the cost of Dell equipment dropped 46 percent.
Schools are also increasingly looking to notebook computers rather than desktop machines. According to Dell, more than one quarter of the company's PC revenues now come from notebook computers. Analysts expect notebook sales to schools to jump 12 percent to 16 percent this year.