Sat, Jan 21, 2012 - Page 12 News List

PC-shipment growth in region hits three-year low

PUNCH-DRUNK:Apart from being hit by a shortage of disk drives after flooding in Thailand, PC demand slowed on a weak global economy and competition from tablets

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

Shipments of personal computers in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, grew at the slowest pace in three years last year, suffering under weak macroeconomic conditions and the popularity of tablet devices, according to market research firm International Data Corp’s (IDC) preliminary results.

Shipments increased 11 percent to 119 million units last year from 2010, the IDC said in a report released on Thursday.

The regional market expanded by 19 percent year-on-year to 107 million units in 2010, after it increased by 15 percent in 2009, according to IDC.

The annual shipment growth of 11 percent in the Asia-Pacific region was stronger than the 1.6 percent rise in global shipments for the year, the IDC data showed.

In the fourth quarter specifically, the Asia-Pacific market grew 11 percent from a year earlier, which was 3 percentage points higher than the IDC’s initial forecast, as markets such as China and Indonesia were partially insulated from hard disk drive shortages, the research firm said.

“The PC market took a number of punches last year, be it from the uncertain global economy or from media tablets that competed for consumers’ attention,” Bryan Ma (馬伯遠), associate vice president for client devices research at IDC Asia-Pacific, said in an e-mailed statement released on Thursday.

“PCs will still face disk drive supply challenges in the early part of 2012, but IDC also expects the market to rebound quickly by the second half of the year to retain close to 10 percent growth for the year in the Asia-Pacific region,” Ma said.

In this region, Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), China’s biggest PC maker, saw its shipments increase 24 percent last year from a year earlier to hold the largest market share — 22.5 percent, up from its 20.2 percent market share in 2010.

“Lenovo continued to lead the region for the full year 2011 by not just holding strong in its home market, China, but also posting robust growth in the rest of the region,” IDC said in the report.

Acer Inc (宏碁) posted a 38 percent upswing in Asia-Pacific shipments last year, the largest among major PC vendors, boosting the Taiwanese firm to second place in the region with an 11.6 percent market share, up from 9.3 percent in 2010, the data showed.

For Dell Inc, a 23 percent increase in Asia-Pacific shipments last year, as the US company continued to fortify its position in China and India, helped the world’s third-largest PC brand remain the third-biggest seller in the region, with a market share of 10.4 percent.

However, Hewlett-Packard Co (HP), the world’s largest PC brand, saw its shipments drop 6 percent last year to hold onto its ranking at fourth place in the region, with a market share of 9.9 percent, according to IDC data.

“Confusion surrounding the future of HP’s PC business hurt the vendor in the second half of the year, undoing the gains it had made earlier,” the research firm said.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) saw Asia-Pacific shipments increase 34 percent last year as it made strong efforts in the ASEAN region. The Taiwanese firm remained the fifth-largest PC seller in the region last year with a market share of 6.4 percent, up from 5.3 percent the previous year, IDC data showed.

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