IDC: Third-quarter PC sales buck the trend

Strong notebook sales in retail and a leap in desktop PC take-up have helped the Australian PC market buck the trend and chalk up stronger growth in Q3.

IDC reported take-up of desktops, notebooks and servers grew by a modest 6.4 per cent year-on-year, with more than 950,000 units shipped. PC analyst for A/NZ, Liam Gunson, said Q3 was normally the quietest quarter. However, Q3 showed significantly stronger growth than that recorded in Q2 (1.9 per cent) and Q1 (4.8 per cent).

One of the most surprising results was growth in desktop sales. This was largely driven by rollouts in the government and education markets, Gunson said. Lenovo proved the star performer due to a major desktop contract in education, increasing its overall desktop PC market share by 1.5 per cent to 7 per cent.

Another strong performer during the quarter was Toshiba, which benefited from above average sales in the retail sector and held on to the top notebooks spot. Dell and NEC also experienced sequential growth in notebooks.

"We found retail was unseasonably strong, which we didn't expect in Q3," Gunson said. "Retail continues to maintain its momentum, particularly with the portable form factor."

Overall, IDC found consumer notebook sales increased year-on-year by 31.5 per cent in Q3. This was more than double the 15 per cent increase in commercial sales.

Despite the results, Gunson warned the PC market continued to contract.

"It's still a marked slowdown compared to 2004 and 2005, where growth rates were in the high teens," he said.

The top five vendors in the overall PC market remained the same in Q3, with HP retaining pole position followed by Dell and Acer. The latter lost just over one per cent in marketshare to 10.6 per cent.