The total shipment of personal computers on the domestic market in 1998 remained at the same level as the previous year, as the home computer market grew 28.4 percent but the corporate market shrank 10 percent, a private high-tech research firm said Friday.

According to IDC Japan Ltd., the total domestic shipment in 1998 was 7.92 million units, 2.64 million of which were for home users and 5.28 million units for corporate users. Sony Corp. made a great stride to capture the No. 3 position in the home PC market, as its sales of home computers grew 1,023.6 percent from the pervious year with the success of its VAIO notebook computer series, IDC Japan said.

In the whole market including both home and business markets, Sony was ranked No. 8 with a 3.8 percent share in 1998. In 1997, the firm was ranked 17th with a 0.5 percent market share.

Unit shipments at Apple Japan Inc. meanwhile decreased 5.4 percent with a share of 5.1 percent, despite the success of the multicolored iMac series, according to the high-tech research firm. Apple’s sales on the consumer market had dwindled before the successful launch of iMac in August, and dwindling sales in the small office-home office market also dealt a blow to the firm, IDC analysts said.

On the whole, NEC Corp. retained the No. 1 position with a 26.9 percent share, Fujitsu Ltd. No. 2 with 23.1 percent, and IBM Japan Ltd. was third with a 10.4 percent share. Toshiba Corp. came fourth with a 7 percent market share, and Hitachi Ltd. was ranked fifth with 5.3 percent, IDC Japan said.

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