Race to Leadership

IDC / Gartner : Worldwide PC market grew steadily in Q2-08
by: Jerry Liao

Worldwide PC shipments reached 71.9 million units in the second quarter of 2008, a 16 percent increase from the second quarter of 2007, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. HP continued to maintain the No. 1 position with its worldwide PC shipment market share totaling 18.1 percent in the second quarter of 2008.

Apple’s PC shipments grew 38.1 percent in the quarter. The home PC segment continued to be the strongest driver for Apple, as well as sales into the education segment.

PC shipments in EMEA reached 23.1 million units in the second quarter of 2008, a 23.5 percent increase from the same period last year. The strong shipment growth was linked to the decline in ASPs, especially in consumer mobile PCs. In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments totaled 20.1 million units, up 18.1 percent from the second quarter of last year. In the professional market, there was not a significant slowdown in PC purchases as replacements and capital investments continued, benefiting multinational vendors such as HP, Dell and Lenovo. Mobile PC shipments grew 45.6 percent in the quarter.

PC shipments in Latin America grew 23.2 percent in the second quarter of 2008, as shipments in the region reached 7 million units. White boxes are gaining new momentum with support by AMD, Intel and Microsoft. Notebook PCs posted 55 percent growth in the quarter, while desk-based systems grew at an estimated 10 percent. In Japan, PC shipments reached 3.6 million units, an 8.2 percent increase from the same period last year. Mobile PCs grew at a high single-digit to a low teen-digit rate, while desk-based PCs showed low single-digit growth.

Several mini-notebook PCs were introduced in the U.S. market during the second quarter. However, this platform is still emerging and did not significantly contribute to overall shipment growth. Preliminary data shows the mini-notebook segment accounted for less than 3 percent of U.S. mobile PC shipments.

IDC on the other hand said worldwide PC shipments continued to grow at a healthy pace in the second quarter of 2008. Shipments were up 15.3% from a year ago – slightly more than second quarter projections and first quarter growth of 14.9%. Solid growth in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region helped offset slower growth in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ).

Regional Outlook
– In line with expectations, demand in the United States suffered from ongoing economic pressures. Growth was in the low single-digits as consumer and businesses tightened their PC spending budgets. From a competitive standpoint, Dell continued its recovery with another quarter of double-digit growth, while HP saw year-on-year growth rise from the first quarter. Portable adoption remains a key market driver, even though consumer share is generally at its lowest during the second quarter.

– EMEA continued to see strong PC sales driven by unabated notebook demand across the region and the additional momentum created by new ultra low-cost offerings. Total shipment growth came in slightly greater than in the first quarter of 2008 as the strong Euro and aggressive competition continued to support PC purchasing despite rising energy costs.

– The Japan market remained sluggish overall, although growth in the mid-single digits was up from the first quarter with contributions from both consumer and commercial segments. The depreciation of the U.S. dollar has helped vendors such as HP and Dell make inroads, and the troubles of Everskill Technology have also benefited other players.

– Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) saw lower than expected growth in most markets as rising energy costs and inflation concerns cut into spending. Year-on-year growth remained in the mid teens, though several percentage points slower than in recent quarters. The slowing market affected most vendors, with the top 5 all showing slower growth than last quarter.

Vendor Highlights
– HP remains the worldwide market leader with solid growth of 16.8%. The company’s extensive product refresh leverages HP’s leadership position and should help the company target specialized niches. The company recovered from a slower first quarter in the United States, although worldwide growth was down slightly.

– Dell had a solid quarter with growth outpacing the market in all regions and made strong gains in EMEA and APeJ. The company also continued to see double-digit growth in its core U.S. market. Dell’s aggressive channel partner program and retail expansion should help drive volume going forward. On the retail front, Dell recently launched a fleet of service centers within Wal-Mart stores to compete with the likes of Best Buy’s Geek Squad.

– Acer continued to expand worldwide shipments by roughly 64% year on year for a second consecutive quarter. Volume increased nearly as fast in EMEA, which accounted for roughly 50% of global shipments. Combined with Gateway, shipments in the United States declined from a year ago for the second consecutive quarter. Growth in APeJ slowed, but remained strong, while gains in other markets improved.

– Lenovo continued to see double-digit growth, although its gains were slower than the market. Slower demand in APeJ, which represents about 60% of Lenovo volume, limited overall growth. Nevertheless, the company continued to see volume increase by more than 20% in EMEA – its second largest region.

– Toshiba had a solid quarter, with growth rising to 28.5% worldwide. Although growth slowed in the U.S. and Japan, gains in EMEA and APeJ accelerated.

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