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According to a recent market research from IDC, shipments of personal computers exceeded expectations in Q1 2005 by 1%. The reasons for that were strong sales in the EMEA and Latin American regions that were partly the results of weak U.S. dollar.

Notebook Sales in EMEA Beat Expectations

“First quarter results demonstrate that demand remains healthy going into the new year. Although the market is expected to slow later this year, demand for portables, system replacements, and growth in emerging geographies continue to drive expansion,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Total shipments rose 10.9% year on year in the first quarter to 46.1 million, roughly 1% above forecast. Following a strong fourth quarter, the U.S. market was in line with forecasts, showing strong growth in portable PC shipments and small and medium business sectors. Demand for portable PCs continued to fuel growth in EMEA boosting total shipments by over 15% year on year. Consumer demand appeared relatively strong while commercial growth was in line with expectations.

“Outside the United States, a weakening dollar helped create market momentum, as strong international currencies, particularly the Euro, made dollar-denominated purchases attractive,” said Roger Kay, vice president of Client Computing at IDC. “Despite U.S. shipment results beating forecast slightly, the second half remains clouded, as macroeconomic indicators continue to be mostly negative.”

Dell Solidifies Positions

Dell remained the top vendor worldwide, expanding its lead with worldwide growth of over 13% year on year. International shipments increased by more than 21%, and portable PCs made continued gains

HP had a solid quarter, growing total worldwide shipments in line with the market. The company saw a small share gain internationally with year-on-year growth of more than 15% outside the U.S.

IBM had a relatively slow quarter with growth of 2% trailing double-digit growth in prior quarters. Strong notebook growth pushed portable PCs to nearly 48% of IBM's client PC shipment mix, an increase of several points.

Following a fourth quarter gain, combined Gateway and eMachines shipments declined more than 20% year on year in the first quarter. The slowdown reflects continued challenges for Gateway following the acquisition of eMachines, despite significantly expanding its channel network.

Toshiba had another solid quarter, benefiting from growing portable adoption, but managing remarkably strong sales in the United States.

Apple had another very strong quarter with growth of more than 43%. Aside from the company's clear ability to leverage the success of its music and iPod business to gain traction in the PC market, the iMac mini was a key factor in Apple’s Q1 2005 unit growth, according to IDC.

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