Reports that Hewlett-Packard has edged out longtime notebook stalwart Toshiba for the No. 2 position in retail sales present an incomplete and somewhat misleading picture of the notebook market as a whole--in terms of where Toshiba stands as well as the overall market.
Although Toshiba may
Corporate purchasers remain the driving force in this market. In the corporate segment, Toshiba holds a No. 3 position behind Dell Computer, the acknowledged leader in notebook sales, and IBM.
The breakdown of the entire market--both corporate and retail--in the second quarter shows Toshiba's continuing strengths and HP's comparative weakness. Dell holds a commanding lead with 21.5 percent of sales across all channels. Compaq Computer is second at 16.6 percent. Toshiba has 13.4 percent. IBM holds a 12.1 percent share. And HP is a distant fifth at 5.8 percent.
Retail sales are certainly an important and growing dynamic in the notebook market. As more individuals and small enterprises come into the notebook market and as prices drop, we anticipate that retail will become a more significant channel. Nonetheless, the real strength in this market continues to be in corporate sales.
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