Worldwide PC market down for first time ever

Worldwide PC market down for first time ever

Global PC shipments declined by 2 per cent in the second quarter of this year from the same period last year, logging the first year-over-year quarterly decline ever, market research company International Data Corp, (IDC) reported last week [subbed].

The worldwide shipments were 7.2 per cent lower than in the first quarter of the year, IDC reported.

A weak economy in the US, soft consumer demand in Europe, flat shipments in Japan and slowing growth in key Asian markets combined to cause worldwide sales dip to a quarterly total of 29.8 million units, IDC said in a statement announcing its report.

Dell Computer was the only major vendor to increase its sales in the second quarter, with Compaq, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu Siemens Computers BV marking declines from last year's second quarter.

As the US economy slowed from a more than decade-long expansion, PC shipments there declined 8.1 per cent from a year earlier and 1.3 per cent from the first quarter -- results that fell just below forecasts, the statement said. Meanwhile, shipments in Japan were flat in the second quarter following a strong 2000 when they rose 30 per cent. Corporate capital expenditure and consumer spending were both weak there.

Even growing markets weakened. In China and India, consumer spending softened and government purchases declined. South Korea, which had been boosted by a government program to encourage families to start using the Internet, also showed slowing growth, as did Australia. Sales growth also slowed in Europe, where growing commercial purchases only partly offset weak consumer demand, IDC said.

Even the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) market, which has been a relatively bright spot for the industry, showed disappointing growth in the second quarter. A report specifically on Asia-Pacific, due this week, is expected to show year-over-year growth of about 9 per cent, said Kitty Fok, associate director for PC research at IDC Asia-Pacific, in Hong Kong.

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