Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Global PC sales post modest growth

RANKINGS:Hewlett-Packard retained its position as the world’s top PC supplier in the second quarter, while Acer, in fourth place, saw its global market share shrink

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

PC makers shipped more than 85.2 million computers worldwide during the recently ended quarter as the economy and interest in tablets kept market growth modest, industry trackers said on Wednesday.

PC shipments rose 2.3 percent over the same period last year, market researcher Gartner said, while IDC pegged growth during the quarter at 2.6 percent.

The slow overall growth indicated that the PC market is in a period of adjustment, Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said.

“After strong growth in shipments of consumer PCs for four years, driven by strong demand for mini-notebooks and low-priced consumer notebooks, the market is shifting to modest, but steady growth,” Kitagawa said.

US SALES

PC shipments in the US totaled 16.9 million units, down 5.6 percent from the same quarter last year, according to Gartner. IDC calculated the year-over-year drop as 4.3 percent.

Factors behind the drooping US performance included being compared to blockbuster growth in the same quarter last year and interest by companies in alternatives to running on-premise computer networks.

Along with economic doldrums, interest in tablet computers such as Apple’s coveted iPads hampered home PC sales, analysts said.

“Given the hype around media tablets such as the iPad, retailers were very conservative in placing orders for PCs,” Kitagawa said.

“Instead, they wanted to secure space for media tablets,” she added.

Asia and Latin America were bright spots for PC makers, with shipments rising 9.6 percent and 15 percent respectively when compared with the same three-month period last year, Gartner said.

“These preliminary results continue to reflect pressure from competing consumer and business products as well as cautious spending,” said Jay Chou, a senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

“Nevertheless, product refreshes and promotions in the second half of the year as well as easier year-ago data should boost growth in the second half of the year,” he said.

TOP NAMES

Hewlett-Packard remained the top PC vendor, with its share of the global market increasing to 17.4 percent, Gartner reported.

Dell ranked second with 12.3 percent of the market.

Chinese computer maker Lenovo (聯想) saw the biggest gain in market share to become the world’s third-biggest PC maker, followed by Acer Inc (宏碁) as its portion shrank, according to IDC and Gartner.

Apple Inc saw the strongest growth among “top-tier” PC vendors in the US, Gartner reported.

IDC said Acer’s shipments in the April-to-June period totaled 9.16 million units, down 10.1 percent from a year earlier, while its global market share dropped to 10.9 percent from 12.4 percent.

“Acer shipments continued to decline from a year ago, but at a slower pace than in the first quarter as the company was affected by a review of inventory handling, as well as uncertainties from its recent management shake-up,” IDC said.

Acer put a new management team in place after Gianfranco Lanci resigned as CEO at the end of March over strategy clashes with the board. Following the reshuffle, the company announced that it would clear inventory and disputed accounts receivable in a one-time write-off of US$150 million (NT$4.3 billion) in its Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), another Taiwan-based PC vendor, took the No. 5 spot with a 5.3 percent market share in the second quarter, up from 5.1 percent a year earlier, according to IDC.

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