Worldwide PC shipments for the second quarter are expected to increase a mere 9 per cent, according to market researcher International Data Corp.
Pressures that will contribute to this relatively slow growth include the ongoing downturn in the Asia-Pacific region, soft demand for portable computers and ongoing channel supply issues in the US, according to a statement from IDC.
Senior PC analyst at IDC Australia Bernie Esner said the channel had been "finding things a little slow" this year, but May had been "reasonable" at this stage. Esner said the launch of Windows 98 on June 25 could be a turning point for the market. He said vendors were trying to "stimulate demand" by introducing new models at discount prices.
Esner attributed the difficulties to a number of market trends, including unemployment, the end of the fiscal year, lowering price points and Intel's recent drop in chip prices.
In the Asia-Pacific region, except for Japan, demand will continue to be weak due to ongoing economic troubles, and the economic sanctions recently imposed on India will also help keep unit shipments to the region low, with growth for the year estimated to be 5 per cent, IDC said. Japan will not be immune to the difficulties that plague the region, as the Japanese PC market is expected not to grow this quarter, IDC said.
In the US, demand for low-cost PCs and a strong economy will contribute to an estimated 14 per cent increase in vendor unit shipments, but price pressure will undermine revenue and profit growth for many PC vendors, according to IDC.