Toshiba regains notebook lead

Toshiba was No. 1 in the second quarter, according to IDC, as Compaq grapples with the same inventory issues that hurt Toshiba.

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Toshiba regained the lead in the notebook computer market last quarter, as Compaq grappled with the same inventory issues that knocked Toshiba out of the top spot earlier this year.

Toshiba moved back into the No. 1 position, after one quarter as No. 2, with 18.8 percent market share, or 273,000 units shipped. Compaq took a little over 13 percent of the market with 190,000 units shipped, according to an upcoming report from market research firm International Data Corporation.

"Compaq is now pretty much where they would have normally been, because they over-shipped to the channel in the first quarter and they had to sell through all that," said Katrina Dahlquist, a mobile computing analyst at IDC. "Toshiba is ramping back up to where they should have been to begin with."

Toshiba experienced similar bloated inventory levels earlier this year, Dahlquist noted, which have largely been resolved at this point.

Going forward, Toshiba will be expanding the configure-to-order program on its Tecra 8000 corporate line of notebooks in an effort to futher increase efficiency. The configure-to-order programis already available on a limited basis, Toshiba exuctives said.

"Toshiba has been in a pattern of changing the problems they had for the last 8 or 9 months," Dahlquist said, adding that Compaq, IBM, and HP are also looking at similar programs as a way to more effectively manage inventory.

Rounding out the top five notebook vendors, in terms of units shipped, were Dell, with 187,000 units, IBM, with 149,000 units, and Packard Bell NEC, with 71,000 units.

Making a return appearance to the top 10 notebook vendors was Apple, who is also enjoying considerable sales growth in its desktop line, due to overwhelming demand for the recently released iMac.

"Apple shipped 48,000 units," Dahlquist said. "They're coming back to a respectable position."