Asian PC sales slump by one-third

Asian PC sales slump by one-third

First-quarter PC sales in Asia-Pacific were down 29 per cent compared to last year, as a result of a 4 per cent drop in number of units sold combined with a shift to buying low-end systems, according to IDC.

The poor sales and lower profit margins will put some regional vendors under severe pressure as the economic crisis here continues, IDC said.

"Price erosion is changing the dynamics of the regional PC market substantially," said Brian Kornegay, senior PC market analyst at IDC Asia-Pacific. "IDC expects market consolidation in the region to accelerate as a result of lower profit margins in an industry already coping with razor-thin margins."

Worst hit was Indonesia, where PC unit sales have collapsed from 107,000 in the first quarter of 1997 to 21,000 in the same period this year, a fall of 80 per cent. Also badly hit were Thailand (down 50 per cent), South Korea (down 39 per cent), Malaysia (down 34 per cent) and the Philippines (down 30 per cent).

The only markets to show strong growth were India (up 31 per cent) and China (up 27 per cent). China, already Asia-Pacific's (excluding Japan) largest PC market, now accounts for 35 per cent of regional PC sales, up from 26 per cent in the first quarter of 1997.

The two leading vendors in the region, IBM and Compaq, saw declines in shipments of 1 per cent, and declines of 2 per cent from the first quarter of 1997. In stark contrast, Hewlett-Packard increased shipments by 49 per cent in the same period to move up to third place

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