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Toshiba fights Compaq onslaught

Notebook PC leader Toshiba finally appears to be staving off the onslaught from Compaq and IBM.

Notebook PC leader Toshiba finally appears to be staving off the onslaught from Compaq and IBM, according to the most recent round of market share reports.

Toshiba commanded as much as 44 percent of the notebook marketplace in February 1997, before watching that number drop to as low as 20 percent toward the end of last year. But Toshiba's market share may have stabilized, according to studies released this week.

Toshiba took 28.4 percent of the U.S. market in January 1998, according to combined data from Computer Intelligence, who surveyed January mail order and dealer channels, and Intellect ASW, who studied computer superstore and dealer sales. Compaq was a close second, though, with 27.2 percent. IBM was third with 23.4 percent.

In the retail channel, Toshiba recovered some market share in February, according to market research from PC Data published in Computer Retail Week earlier this week.

This study of February retail notebook sales found that although Toshiba earned 35 percent less revenue than it did in the same month last year, it did tie Compaq with about 29 percent of the market each, an improvement from the previous month.

Toshiba attributed the turnaround to a "nimble" business model which allowed the company to control inventory levels, an issue that has dogged Toshiba in the past.