PC Market Rises On Notebook Sales

HP, Dell, Acer Hold Top Rankings
by: Jerry Liao

Despite challenging economic conditions, worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter of 2008 rose in accordance with normal seasonal patterns, increasing by a double-digit percentage compared to the same period in 2007, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global PC unit shipments rose to 69.9 million units in the first quarter, up 12.1 percent from 62.4 million in the first quarter of 2007. Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Acer Inc. retained the top-three rankings with no change from the previous quarter.

During the last five years, first-quarter PC shipments have grown by an average of 12 percent compared to the same period during the previous year, putting the beginning of 2008 on par with the norm.

HP leads out of the box
Leading PC brand Hewlett-Packard started 2008 on a high note, boosting its first-quarter global PC shipments by 23 percent over the same quarter in 2007, to reach 13.2 million units. This was the strongest percentage growth among the Top-10 PC makers and allowed the company to retain its No.-1 ranking on a worldwide basis with a market share of 18.9 percent.

Dell in the first quarter of 2008 expanded its market share position by half a percentage point compared to the fourth quarter of 2007, at 15.4 percent, with worldwide shipments of 10.8 million units. Company shipments were up 20 percent from 8.97 million from the first quarter of 2007. “Dell’s performance reflects its gains from moves to expand its sales into the retail realm,” Wilkins noted.

Acer rounded out the Top-3 rankings with unit shipments of 6.8 million units—a figure that includes the shipments of the recently-acquired Gateway and Packard Bell—giving it a global market share of 9.7 percent. Fellow Asian OEMs Lenovo and Toshiba rounded out the remainder of the Top-5 rankings in the first quarter with market shares of 6.9 and 4.4 percent respectively.

The table presents iSuppli’s estimate of global unit market share in the first quarter of 2008. Acer’s shipments have been adjusted to incorporate those from Gateway and Packard Bell, which were acquired by Acer in 2007.

As a result of its recent acquisitions of Gateway and Packard Bell, Acer’s worldwide PC market share now stands at less than a half a percentage point lower than the magical 10 percent mark. This mark is significant because only two brands now hold worldwide PC market shares of greater than 10 percent: Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Through its acquisitions in 2007, Acer now has distanced itself from its once close rival in market-share terms: Lenovo. In the first quarter of 2007 the two companies were separated by 0.4 percentage point of market share, however in the first quarter of 2008, the delta grew to 2.8 percent.

Lenovo and Toshiba were fourth and fifth, respectively, with a 6.9% and 4.4% market share. Lenovo increased shipments by 21.2% and Toshiba 20.3%.

Better than expected
Overall, the first quarter performance of the PC market was slightly better than expected. Nonetheless, many of the challenges identified in the first quarter still remain.

iSuppli continues to see a higher value proposition in notebook PCs relative to desktops, and the growth in this segment bears witness to this

iSuppli believes that despite challenging conditions, the outlook for the PC market in 2008 remains healthy.

“We now forecast global PC unit shipment growth in the range of 10 to 11 percent this year,” said Wilkins, “Exciting new developments in the area of low-cost PCs will help stimulate PC demand, along with bringing them to a wider audience.”

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