Following a smaller than expected decline in third quarter PC shipments, IDC's Asia-Pacific unit this week predicted shipment growth is likely to return to the economically battered region in this year's fourth quarter.
Asia-Pacific PC shipments (excluding Japan) in the fourth quarter of this year are forecast to grow by 5 per cent over the same period last year, the first year-on-year quarterly shipment growth since the fourth quarter of 1997, IDC Asia-Pacific said.
And in 1999, IDC now predicts PC shipments in the region to increase by 16 per cent, rebounding from an expected 1 per cent annual decline this year from 1997.
The market research company still cautioned, however, that it is too early to proclaim a full-fledged recovery for PC shipments in Asia-Pacific, but added that the signs are that the worst could be over as a degree of stability returns to the region.
In the third quarter of this year, regional PC shipments stood at 2.56 million units, a decline of 2.3 per cent from the same period a year ago, IDC said.
As expected, the markets in Southeast Asia and South Korea saw the biggest shipment declines, with PC sales in Indonesia, the worst performer in the region, dropping by 82 per cent down from the same period in 1997.
At the other end of the scale, third-quarter PC shipments in China -- the region's largest market -- grew by nearly 28 per cent year on year, while India also posted healthy growth with shipments up by just over 24 per cent.
Compaq retained its top PC vendor position in Asia-Pacific outside Japan in the third quarter of this year, despite a 9 per cent decline in shipments from the same period last year, edging out IBM which posted only a slight shipment increase of 2 per cent.
Taiwan's Acer Group, meanwhile, managed to just hang on to its fifth place position in the third quarter, IDC said, following a 24 per cent drop in shipments from the same period a year ago.