Dataquest: Asian PC market turning corner

Dataquest: Asian PC market turning corner

PC shipments in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, rebounded strongly in the first quarter of this year, reaching 2.72 million units, up 19 per cent from 2.28 million units reported in the same quarter last year, according to market research firm Dataquest.

The region is showing encouraging signs of recovery, Dataquest said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The enforcement of strong government fiscal policies is driving the region's recovery, according to Dataquest analyst Ian Bertram. Demand for PCs is growing as countries ship less expensive products and stabilise their exchange rates, he said in a statement.

China confirmed its position as the leading market in Asia, with sales growing 49 per cent over the previous year to reach 887,013 units up from 597,209 units, giving China a 32.7 per cent share of the overall Asia-Pacific market, excluding Japan, according to Dataquest. The top five countries -- China, Australia, Korea, Taiwan and India -- are estimated to make up over 80 per cent of the total volume of Asia-Pacific PC shipments, excluding Japan. India saw the second-highest number of PC shipments with 152,994 units, up 28 per cent from last year's 119,771 shipments.

Indonesia practically doubled its shipment of PCs during the first quarter with 54,905 units up 99 per cent from last year's 27,593 unit shipments.

Singapore was the only country to show a slump from last year. During the first quarter of this year, Singapore shipped 93,380 units, down 9 per cent from last year's 103,350 shipments. However, Singapore's PC shipments were 13 per cent higher than in the year-ago quarter.

All major PC markets -- business, home, government and education -- lifted in the first quarter of 1999, with the Government sector showing the strongest year-on-year growth at 24 per cent, according to Dataquest figures. Government spending on PCs was highest in Indonesia and Korea, which rose 106 per cent and 780 per cent, respectively.

Publicity surrounding electronic commerce, and the threat that older PCs would fail to handle the Y2K date change, saw SMEs (small-to-medium-sized enterprises) emerge as the major movers in the business sector, rising 49 per cent over the previous year, Dataquest said.

Growing 29 per cent, the mobile PC market outpaced the desktop market, which saw an 18 per cent increase. However, the desktop market still makes up 88 per cent of the region's total PC market, Dataquest said. Indonesia stood out with 105 per cent growth in the desktop segment, which comprises 95 per cent of the total PC market in the country.

Compaq was the leading vendor in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, for the first quarter of 1999, extending its market lead over IBM, which it overtook in the fourth quarter of 1998, Dataquest said. The next three positions were occupied by Samsung Electronics, Acer and Chinese company Legend Group, respectively.

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