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Analysts post PC shipment plunge in Q1

Posted: 21 Apr 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PC shipment drop? mobile PC? netbook?

Market researchers Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp. (IDC) both reported steep declines in Q1 sales of PCs in all geographic areas, as well as a very poor performance from Dell that saw it yield top slot in shipments to Hewlett-Packard.

IDC said shipments fell 7.1 percent globally, while Gartner called it a 6.5 percent drop.

According to Gartner, HP's shipments at just over 13,300 units in Q1 were a 2.6 increase over the same quarter in 2008, and gave it a 19.8 percent market share of just over 67,200 units sold.

Meanwhile, Dell's shipments fell 16.9 percent, giving it a share of 13.1 percent.

HP was not the only PC supplier to take advantage of Dell's problems. Acer outperformed all others in the top five (which also includes Toshiba and Lenovo) increasing shipments in Q1 by 26.7 percent over the corresponding quarter in 2008, and now lies third with a 13 percent share.

In Q1 08, the Taiwan-based company's worldwide market share stood 9.6 percent compared to Dell's 14.7 percent, according to Gartner.

According to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, low priced mobile PCs, so-called netbooks, continued as the growth driver for the industry in most regions. "However we anticipate a sharp decline in industry revenues due to the lower average selling prices of these devices."

Despite the overall decline in PC shipments, the analyst firms saw some improvements in the market. Both said inventory levels had fallen, but differed on the impact. While IDC expected more stable production over the next couple of quarters, with growth returning toward the end of the year, Gartner was less optimistic.

IDC's and Gartner's findings were roughly in line with what Intel saw in reporting financial earnings for Q1. The chip maker said last week that PC sales appeared to have "bottomed out," but the market remained too uncertain for the company to offer a revenue projection for Q2.

According to Gartner, PC shipments in the EMEA region for Q1 saw a huge 10.2 percent decline to 22.7 million units from the same quarter in 2008, with the slowdown impacting all sectors but the professional end faring worse than the consumer market.

Consumer mobile shipments were the only sector to have shown modest growth, with Toshiba and Acer benefiting most, says Gartner.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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