The worldwide PC market grew slightly in the first quarter as hard disk drive supply remained a key constraint, research firm International Data Corp (IDC) said yesterday.
Global PC shipments totaled 87.1 million units in the first three months of this year, up 2.3 percent from 85.1 million units in the same period last year, the US-based firm said in a report.
The growth was slightly above IDC’s February projections of a 0.9 percent year-on-year decline, as large PC vendors were able to maintain shipments by managing inventory or absorbing price increases, the report said.
“PC market growth remained limited in the first quarter as hard disk drive supply and other factors limited demand,” said Loren Loverde, IDC vice president of worldwide consumer device trackers.
“We expect PC shipments to pick up significantly by the fourth quarter and beyond, as hard disk drive supply and pricing are normalized, Windows 8 is launched and replacements pick up,” he said.
Hewlett-Packard Co continued to take the biggest market share at 18 percent, followed by Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) with 13.4 percent, Dell Inc with 11.6 percent, Acer Inc (宏碁) with 9.9 percent and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) with 6 percent, IDC said.
Acer saw its shipments decline 3.7 percent from a year earlier, trailing the market, but improving on the first quarter of last year, when it recorded a steep drop of 15.8 percent year-on-year, IDC said.
On the other hand, Asustek recorded an annual shipment growth of 22 percent in the first quarter, the second-highest growth behind Lenovo’s 43.7 percent among the top five players.
IDC said Asustek had stepped in to fill the void left by other vendors and continued to see strong gains in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA — Europe, the Middle East and Africa — markets, which absorbed the large majority of its first-quarter shipments.
Gartner Inc also reported yesterday that worldwide PC shipments had increased 1.9 percent year-on-year to 89 million units in the first quarter, exceeding its projection of a 1.2 percent decline for the period.
The firm said the EMEA region had performed better than expected, with PC shipments growing 6.7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, while the Asia-Pacific region performed below expectations, partly because of slow growth in India and China.
The slowdown in these countries serves as cautionary note to vendors that growth in the PC industry cannot depend heavily on the emerging markets, even though PC penetration in these regions is low, Gartner said.
Meanwhile, notebook shipments by Taiwanese companies in the first quarter were better than expected, Taipei-based Digitimes Research said in a report yesterday.
Taiwan’s original design manufacturing (ODM) service providers shipped 42.06 million notebooks in the three-month period, down 5.7 percent from the previous quarter, but up 2.5 percent from a year ago, the report said.
“The decrease was smaller than expected, which is encouraging for the industry,” Digitimes senior analyst Joanne Chien (簡佩萍) said.
The first quarter is a slow season for the industry, with shipments usually declining by between 8 and 12 percent, she added.
In terms of brand breakdown, shipments by Acer and Samsung Electronics Co both exceeded those of the previous quarter, while Toshiba Corp and Asustek saw a declines of within 3 percent.