Market analyst IDC has slashed its yearly forecast for the Australian PC market in the wake of a market in turmoil.
"Preliminary estimates for the market show a drop from 526,000 units in Q2 to 500,000 units in Q3. This is a decline of 4.9 per cent sequentially," explained senior analyst Logan Ringland.
But year-on-year figures augur ill for the struggling market.
"This proportion blows out to a whopping 20 per cent decline as Q3 last year was the biggest quarter in recorded history for Australia," Ringland said.
IDC cited the collapse of major Australian companies such as HIH, Ansett, Pasminco and One.Tel as well as worldwide economic instability and the upcoming Federal election as factors in the market slowdown.
Direct marketeer Dell grabbed top spot among the PC vendors, beating out Compaq for the top spot for the quarter for the first time in six years, according to preliminary estimates from the analyst. IBM also had a strong quarter, coming in at number three, while a disappointing result from HP relegated it to fourth spot with only 5 per cent market share.
Apple also had a strong quarter in Australia, experiencing great sales from its new notebooks. Apple took 4.9 per cent market share to take fifth position, narrowly missing fourth position.
"Apple is now chomping at its [HP's] heels as the vendor experiences great sales from its new designs of notebooks," Ringland said. "Its more attractive pricepoints have seen the vendor reach an unusually high level of sales for what is traditionally a very slow quarter for both themselves and the overall market."
IDC is predicting doom and gloom for Q4, despite the recent release of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, but the analyst says consumer confidence may pick up post-election.