Toshiba loses its top spot

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For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2001, notebook manufacturer Toshiba has lost its top market share position, knocked off in Q2 this year by HP.

For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2001, notebook manufacturer Toshiba has lost its top market share position, knocked off in Q2 this year by HP.

Latest IDC results found that HP had a strong quarter in the commercial and consumer markets, capturing 22.3 percent of the total notebook market in Q2, barely nudging Toshiba out of top position with a 21.8 percent share.

Imraan Ali, market analyst, personal computers at IDC, said HP's aggressive retail pricing strategy had put pressure on Toshiba, which had a record Q1. He said Toshiba had a slower Q2 due to the fact that it cut a 'huge proportion' of its business in the previous quarter.

In the consumer market, HP won by a country mile, capturing a 32.7 percent share in Q2. Toshiba - placed second - grabbed 19.8 percent of the market, Ali said. HP and Toshiba captured 41.2 percent and 21.6 percent of the consumer market respectively in Q1.

HP/Compaq consumer notebook sales went through the roof in June, according to channel market analyst Inform. Consumer notebook sales for were also strong for the vendor throughout Q1 and Q2, according to Inform director Chris Herbert.

HP's ZE series notebook, targeted at the mass merchant channel, bolstered the market and were 'keenly priced,' Herbert said. 'The HP brand has the lowest pricepoint [currently] through the mass merchant channel,' he said. HP's ZE4281 notebook had an average price in June of $1,850.

Mass merchants sold 1,014 units of the Compaq Presario 2133 and just under 900 units of the Presario 2566, Inform said. These models retail for around $2,800 and $3,000 respectively.

In the commercial market, Toshiba won with a 22.3 percent share in Q2 while HP came in second with 19.7 percent market share, according to IDC.

In Q1, Toshiba took a 30.2 percent share and HP 15.1 percent, Ali said. Overall in Q2, Dell, IBM and Acer rounded out the top five.

Ali said he expected to see a 'dog-fight' between HP and Toshiba over coming quarters driven by further notebook price cuts.

Strong demand in the sub-$2,000 notebook price bracket was driving consumer sales, 'which is the sweet spot at the moment,' Ali said.

Ali added that, despite the increasing popularity of notebooks, the commercial desktop market is still the 'bread and butter' for a lot of PC vendors.

'We see the mobility momentum moving forward as it becomes more feasible for corporates to rollout notebook PCs.' Still, there are market segments - such as call centres - that wouldn't consider notebook rollouts, he claimed.

IBM took the number one notebook position from Toshiba in Q4, 2001 on the back of a massive notebook rollout with The Department of Defence.

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