HP strengthens grip on PC market

HP strengthens grip on PC market

IDC Q2 figures show HP takes poll position in desktop and notebook consumer and commercial categories

HP has extended its lead in the Australian PC market, clinching poll position across all four consumer and commercial desktop PC and notebook categories for the first time.

According to preliminary Q2 figures, HP cemented its dominance over Toshiba in the consumer notebook market and took the lead off Dell in the commercial notebook sector, PC analyst, Liam Gunson, said. HP held 22.8 per cent market share across the total notebook market compared to second-placed Toshiba, which recorded 18.8 per cent.

"HP recorded particularly strong consumer notebook shipments, which was the big market driver in Q2," Gunson said. It also widened the gap with Dell in consumer and commercial desktop PC shipments, recording 24 per cent market share in the total desktop PC space over Dell's 15.2 per cent. This was up from Q1 results of 19.7 per cent year and 17.8 per cent, respectively. Gunson attributed the increase to strong sales in the government sector.

The PC market was extremely strong during the second quarter, experiencing 8.7 per cent year-on-year growth, and 8.9 per cent sequentially, he said.

"The market went through a soft patch during 2006, but it's picking up this year," he said. "This is impacted by refresh cycles. The last one we saw was during 2003, and we're starting to witness another now. We were expecting 2008 to be the refresh year but the buoyant Australian dollar and market conditions are bringing purchasing forward." Desktop PC sales saw a resurgence during Q2, rising by 1 per cent to 55.6 per cent of overall sales. Gunson said Q2 was typically dominated by commercial and government spending, which still favoured desktop machines.

"The larger organisations are getting smarter about who migrates to notebooks. This has meant there is still strong demand for desktops in that market," he said. However, consumer desktop PCs shipments also increased year-on-year.

"We've started to see the decline of desktop PCs in the consumer market start to plateau," Gunson said. "This gives rise to the theory that there's still a place for the family desktop PC going forward: the desktop is becoming the main storage hardware platform of the future."

The notebook market grew by 18.6 per cent year-on-year and 6.6 per cent sequentially, which was slightly less than recent quarters. IDC's Q1 star notebook performer, Asus, continued its ascent, increasing its market share from 8.1 per cent to 9.4 per cent in Q2.

"Asus has focused on the consumer, SOHO and small business space, which are the strongest growth areas [for notebooks]," Gunson said

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