Compaq Computer Corp. held its spot as the biggest worldwide seller of personal computers during the first quarter, and Dell Computer Corp. retained its U.S.-market share lead, according to preliminary figures expected to be released Monday.
Overall, PC shipments in the United States grew by 14.5 percent to 11.07 million, according to Dataquest Inc., a California-based market research firm. Worldwide, more than 29.98 million PCs were shipped in the first three months of the year - representing a 15 percent increase from a year ago.
The Texas rivalry between Houston-based Compaq and Round Rock-based Dell narrowed slightly. Dell's first-quarter shipments of 1.85 million units represented 16.8 percent of the U.S. market while Compaq's 1.82 million shipped PCs gave it a 16.4 percent market share.
Dell surpassed Compaq as the top seller of PCs in the United States during the third quarter of 1999. Dell's growth slowed during the first quarter, but it moved closer to threatening Compaq for the No.1 position in the worldwide market, Dataquest reported.
In the first quarter, Dell's worldwide sales grew faster, rising 29.3 percent, compared with Compaq's 11.4 percent growth rate.
Worldwide, Compaq shipped 3.75 million units for a 12.5 percent market share, compared with Dell's 3.0 million units, which represented 10 percent of worldwide shipments.
PC saturation in the United States "is becoming an increasingly significant factor in determining overall commercial market growth rates," said Charles Smulders, a Dataquest analyst.
Emachines and Hewlett-Packard showed the highest U.S. growth rates among major PC vendors with increases of 80 percent and 74 percent.