PC market hits the wall: IDC

Hot on the heels of Gartner's figures, analyst IDC has released its Q4 figures for PC sales with very similar findings -- the PC market is not looking good.

Overall, PC shipments reached 565,000 for the fourth quarter, down 9.6 per cent on a decidedly lacklustre Q3. Desktops fell 9.8 per cent sequentially and portable PCs also recorded negative growth, down 9.2 per cent sequentially.

The good news is that, despite the PC market's poor performance, sales are still up year on year. Desktops grew 6.5 per cent on the same period last year, while notebooks are up 7.6 per cent. According to IDC, sales in the much-targeted whitebox market are up around 6 per cent.

"It is not surprising, considering most of the purchasing in that area is in the cheaper home market and education [sectors]," said IDC analyst Logan Ringland.

Compaq led the vendor list for the quarter with 13.2 per cent market share, regaining the position from IBM with 11.7 per cent. HP took out third position with 8 per cent and Dell and Toshiba made up the number four and five positions.

"It was not a good period for these vendors as each of them experienced negative growth both year on year and sequentially," Ringland said.

The results are due to a soft consumer market and a slowdown in the corporate market, since many companies purchased PC in Q3 of last year, according to IDC.

Logan predicts the first quarter of 2001 will also be dogged by slow sales. But things should pick up in Q2 as vendors refresh their product lines.