Compaq Computer Corp. will ship more personal computers in 1994 than the company that coined the term "PC," knocking International Business Machines Corp. from the top spot for the first time.
Compaq may widen its lead in 1995, partly because of its popular line of "multimedia" personal computers and lively demand from consumers who want a PC at home.
For the first time, the PC is truly "personal": About half of all IBM-clone PCs sold in the fourth quarter were for home use, analysts said.
And Compaq is in a position to build on its hold in the thriving home-computer segment, whereas IBM's traditional PC strength is among business customers, analysts said.
"Compaq has almost an insurmountable lead in the total worldwide market," said Richard Zwetchkenbaum, personal computer analyst at International Data Corp., a market research firm based in Framingham, Mass.
According to an IDC study, Compaq knocked IBM from the top spot not only worldwide, but also in the United States.
The Houston-based company will ship an estimated 4.83 million PCs this year, capturing 10 percent of the worldwide market, jumping over both IBM and Apple Computer Inc.
IBM will ship an estimated 4.24 million units, or 8.7 percent of the worldwide market, followed by Apple with 4.13 million units, or 8.5 percent.