The Australian PC market ended 2003 on a strong note, growing 16.1 per cent compared with 2002. Meanwhile quarter-on-quarter comparison (the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter of 2003) showed growth was up by 3 per cent.
“The year definitely ended on a high note particularly driven by consistent replacement rates amongst enterprises and uptake of mobile PCs as the alternate platform in both the professional and private space respectively,” analyst for Gartner’s hardware and systems group, Andy Woo, said.
“The growth rate is even more impressive given the maturity of the Australian market and all the externalities that have happened in 2003 such as SARS and the unrest in the Middle East.
“Australia had enjoyed two strong years of double digit growth in 2002 (11.2 per cent) and last year. The big question is whether the market can maintain this strong momentum moving into 2004.”
Gartner thought replacement rates would start to slide off in the enterprise space and interest rate rises would cause some slowdown in the consumer space eventually, he said.
“The bottom line is 2004 is shaping to be a challenging year for the PC market,” Woo said.
Mobile PCs ended the year with a growth of 35.2 per cent compared to 2002.
“The mobile story is becoming more compelling for end-users than ever before both from a price point and performance perspective,” Woo said. “We can expect this trend to continue in 2004.”
There was little change in vendor positioning, as HP remained fixed on the leader board with 16.6 per cent market share followed by Dell (10.2 per cent) and IBM (7 per cent).
From an Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) perspective, PC shipments totalled 29.7 million units in 2003, an increase of 9.5 per cent from the prior year. Shipments of desktop PCs accounted for 82 per cent, down 3 per cent from 2002. Mobile PCs were at 16 per cent, up 3 per cent from the 2002 figure of all PCs shipped.