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PC shipments up 9% in Q1, Gartner says

Posted: 23 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PC shipments? mobile PC? PC market?

Worldwide PC shipments increased by 8.9 percent totaling to 62.7 million units in Q1 2007, according to preliminary results by Gartner Inc. The worldwide total is in line with the market research firm's earlier projections; however geographic regions showed mixed results.

The United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Latin America regions performed better than the forecast while Asia/Pacific and Japan shipments were lower than expected. The Asia/Pacific region surpassed the U.S. PC market to take the second position in terms of shipments for the first time.

Microsoft's official consumer launch of Vista in January had very limited impact on overall worldwide shipment demand on a quarterly basis, Gartner said. On a monthly basis, mature regions experienced a bubble in demand following its release. Vista adoption was primarily in the consumer and very small business segments of the mature regions.

HP's worldwide PC shipment growth far outpaced the industry average, with its worldwide PC shipments increasing 28.7 percent in Q1. Meanwhile, Dell had another difficult quarter experiencing below-average growth across many regions.

"HP was helped by the Vista operating system consumer launch in the mature regions, and it is benefiting from a strong position in the channel," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's client computing markets group. "The first quarter of 2007 was a transitional quarter for Dell as the company began a major restructuring project."

Acer moved into the third position for worldwide PC shipments in Q1 with shipment growth that well exceeded the industry average across all regions. Although Lenovo dropped to the fourth position, the company achieved its highest year-over-year growth rate since its acquisition of IBM's PC division.

In the U.S. PC market, PC shipments grew 2.9 percent in Q1 compared to the same period a year ago. These results were higher than Gartner's forecast which called for 0.6 percent growth. "The home segment continued to drive PC shipment growth in the U.S. market," Kitagawa said.

Dell maintained the No. 1 position in Q1, but its shipment growth was well below the industry average. The company's results were mainly attributed to its weakness in the home market.

On the other hand, HP narrowed the gap with Dell for the top spot in the U.S. market. Early indications show that HP's growth was driven by strong retail business and a steady increase of small and midsize business.

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 21.6 million units in Q1 , a 13.7 percent increase from the same period last year. Strong demand in Central Eastern Europe and MEA regions bolstered the overall PC growth in EMEA. The EMEA PC market was further driven by strong consumer mobile PC demand. Growth in the professional market was soft with desk-based growth that was particularly weak.

In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 15.7 million units, a 10.3 percent increase from the first quarter of last year. Overall market performance was slightly weaker than projected due to weaker desk-based PC growth. In China, Q1 is traditionally the weakest shipment quarter of the year due to the Lunar New Year celebrations. However, the PC market in China grew 15.2 percent with desk-based PC growth of 10.1 percent and mobile PC growth of 38.3 percent.

Mobile PC shipments also accounted for strong growth in Latin America. PC shipments in Latin America totaled 5.1 million, a 21 percent increase from Q1 last year. Mobile PC shipments also increased 86 percent through multiple PC offerings, easier and extended credit, bundling and product bonuses, retail channels continue to capture a substantial portion of the home and small business markets.

PC shipments in Japan surpassed 4 million units in Q1, a 6.8 percent decline from the same period last year. Both desk-based and mobile PC segments are expected to register year-over-year declines. The slow mobile PC growth was artificially affected by inventory control for the spring model releases. Some vendors intentionally reduced shipments at the end of Q1 in order to prepare for the spring models that are being introduced in April.

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