China probably overtook the US as the largest PC market last quarter, after three decades of US dominance in an industry pioneered by Apple Inc and International Business Machines Corp.
PC shipments in China rose 14 percent to 18.5 million units during the second quarter this year, the first time they surpassed the number in the US, where they fell 4.8 percent to 17.7 million, Bryan Ma (馬伯遠), an analyst at research firm IDC, said in an interview yesterday. On a full-year basis, China will likely pass the US next year, he said.
The estimates highlight the growing importance of China, which passed the US in 2009 in the car market, as the world’s consumer. Illustrating the divergence, industry leader Hewlett-Packard Co this month indicated it may pull out of the PC business, while China’s Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) posted quarterly profit that almost doubled.
Lenovo is now poised to benefit from both China’s rise as the largest PC market and HP’s potential exit from the industry, Henry King (金文衡), a Hong Kong-based analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, wrote in a report to clients yesterday.
“We think Lenovo’s proven execution track record may help it gain more market share outside China without compromising profitability,” King wrote. “We believe it would gain potential market share from HP during the transition period.”
The value of second quarter computer shipments in China was US$11.9 billion, compared with US$11.7 billion for the US, Ma said. China accounted for 22 percent of the global PC market by shipments, a percentage point more than the US, he said.
Still, shipments in China will probably end at 72.4 million for the year, about 1 million shy of those in the US, Ma said. Next year, shipments in China will probably rise 18 percent and surpass the estimated 76.6 million units in the US, he said.