As the nation's personal computer market shrinks, competition is intensifying, and the Japanese unit of U.S.-based Dell Computer Corp. is becoming a rising force with its low-cost business model.

The world's largest computer maker, Dell entered Japan in 1993. Last year, it increased domestic PC shipments by 39.5 percent from the previous year and is trying to wrest an even bigger market share.

However, industrial experts say it is getting difficult for Dell to keep growing at such a dramatic rate because domestic demand by corporations -- its prime target -- is still weak despite early signs of economic recovery in Japan.