Gartner tallies worst global PC shipment quarter since 2002

Gartner tallies worst global PC shipment quarter since 2002

Asia-Pacific region records worst PC shipment growth on Gartner’s record books

The worldwide PC industry endured its worst growth in six years in Q4, 2008, jumping only 1.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2007.

According to research firm Gartner, worldwide shipments totalled 78.1 million units for Q4, 2008. HP led market share (19 per cent) followed by Dell (13 per cent), Acer (12 per cent), Lenovo (7 per cent) and Toshiba (5 per cent).

The Asia-Pacific region recorded the worst shipment growth since Gartner started its PC statistics research, increasing by 1.8 per cent with volume reaching almost 19.5 million units. China and India account for about 65 per cent of the Asia-Pacific shipment figures.

Gartner’s results are only preliminary and the research firm was unable to provide any details on how the Australia market fits into the findings.

According to Gartner, Dell showed “strong growth” in the Asia-Pacific region and maintained the number one position in the US PC market.

The global economic downturn impacted on all regions. Sales in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America were all affected by weakening economies.

The growth driver for the 2008 holiday PC season was the mini-notebook segment, which outpaced overall mobile PC growth thanks to creative sales promotions, the research firm said.

PC revenue experienced a record decline, which was exacerbated by the strength of mini-notebooks and other low-priced systems. According to iSuppli, Q3, 2008, was the first time ever that more notebook PCs were sold globally than desktop PCs.

Fellow research firm IDC credited sales of mini-notebooks (netbooks) and a strong Australian dollar for keeping the PC market buoyant during Q3, 2008.

Acer in particular was singled out by Gartner for “exceptional growth”, with worldwide PC shipments growing 31 per cent in Q4, 2008, courtesy of its low-priced PCs and mini-notebooks. However, Acer is expecting its Q4 revenue to take a hit.

For the year, worldwide PC shipments totalled 302.2 million units in 2008, a 10.9 per cent increase from 2007. The top 5 rankings remain unchanged compared to 2007. HP is on top, followed by Dell, Acer, Lenovo and, lastly, Toshiba which grew faster than the worldwide average by heavily targeting the consumer market.

IDC is predicting the economic downturn will see the collapse of some PC makers and a restructuring of the rest of the industry in 2009, potentially through increased consolidation.

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