PC market shows signs of improvement

PC market shows signs of improvement

PC sales pick up in second quarter

The Australian PC market picked up in the second quarter by 11.3 per cent compared to Q1 but sales remain volatile, according to Gartner.

The rebound followed a significant market downturn during Q1 2009 and was in line with predictions made in late July. While Q2 figures dropped by 2.9 per cent year-on-year, the quarter-on quarter results showed the economy was warming up, Gartner research analyst, Eileen He, said.

“The general economy improved in the last quarter, and that’s why the sequential growth rate was positive compared to the previous quarter,” she said.

The analyst said notebook growth and desktop computer decline continued. She added enterprise customers were also slow to update their PCs, which was acting as a drag on the market.

“Enterprise users haven’t put too much of their budget into PC replacement. When the economy improves, most of them will still buy desktops,” she said.

“The maintenance cost for desktop PCs is still lower than mobile PCs. They have more experience and skill in maintaining desktops.”

The analyst predicted positive quarter-on-quarter results for PC sales in Q3 2009 through strong consumer demand, but warned the economy would remain volatile.

“We forecast the PC market will not stabilise until at least 2011. So far, we still see that spending from enterprise is fairly tight while consumer confidence has not fully come back,” she said.

“After 2011, we will see the normal sequential growth rate for every quarter.”

According to Gartner’s findings, Asus lost the top spot for netbook computers in Q2 to Acer Computer. MSI came in third, followed by HP and Lenovo. MSI’s strong and sudden growth pushed Dell from the netbook top five.

“Acer is ranked number one because of its marketing campaign and channel strategies,” Gartner’s He said. “The result is similar across Asia-Pacific. After advertising and product design changes, Acer has bounced to number one.”

MSI’s sudden jump in Australian market share rankings was due to a strong channel strategy and boost in advertising, but the analyst did not believe MSI could break into the top two.

Gartner figures showed a dramatic 398.4 per cent year-on-year jump in mini-notebook sales during Q2 2009. General consumers represent 90.3 per cent of the subcategory, which now makes up 14.3 per cent of total mobile PC sales.

“Gartner believes vendors should look into alternative channels, such as telecom retailers, to resell mobile PCs, and work with telecom service providers on bundling and subsidising PCs with broadband plans,” Gartner said in a statement.

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