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STAMFORD, Conn. – Credit unions that found themselves finally loosening up the purse strings to buy a computer or two this year are hardly alone. In what’s considered a sign of continued economic recovery, PC vendors worldwide shipped 45.3 million units in the first quarter of 2004, a 13.4% increase over the first three months of 2003, according to Gartner Inc. Dell and Hewlett-Packard together control about 30% of the global market, with 16% claimed by Dell. Dell’s market share in the U.S. is about 30% itself, with HP at about 17%. Other major global players were IBM with 4.9%, Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens with 4% and Acer with 3.1% in the first three months of 2004, Gartner says. “The business segment was supported by increased PC replacement activity, as business confidence improved in most regions. Our forecast model shows strong PC replacement demand throughout 2004,” says Charles Smulders, a vice president at the research & advisory firm.

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