PC market slows in Q2

15 Sep 2006

Although the world PC market has continued to expand at a healthy pace, growth has slowed compared to previous quarters, IDC said in its quarterly PC industry tracker.

Total PC shipments in Q2 exceeded 52 million and growth was 9.8pc for the quarter, 0.6pc behind expectations.

However, despite the slower second quarter IDC predicts that the second half of 2006 will demonstrate strong double-digit growth for the year.

“Mature regions, like the US, western Europe and Japan, are exhibiting more conservative growth trends while developing regions are not only growing faster but exceeding expectations,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

“Although this is an important development trend, it’s also the case that the bulk of portable PC adoption — the leading market driver — remains concentrated in the more mature markets. As a result, there’s plenty of opportunity for PC companies to grow but they need to adequately target the growth segments in each region,” Loverde said.

PC shipments in western Europe and Japan were considerably slower than expected in the second quarter, largely due to short-term factors such as inventory reduction and the FIFA World Cup.

Growth in Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan and Rest of World (including Latin America, Canada, Central and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa), was down slightly from the prior quarter but still ahead of expectations, while growth in the US rose slightly from the first quarter.

IDC’s growth projections for 2006 were lowered slightly from the June forecast. However, the company says its prediction on volume for 2007 remains unchanged and future years have been bolstered by the strong outlook in emerging markets as well as further growth potential driven by new product designs and digital convergence.

“We believe consumer notebooks will continue to drive strong overall PC sales through the rest of this year despite the presence of many potential competitors for discretionary income this holiday season, such as flat-panel TVs,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice-president Clients and Displays.

“Looking forward, we expect desktop shipments will begin to stabilise, particularly in the enterprise segment. However, consumer notebook adoption will fuel industry growth and move us closer to the day when notebooks will out-ship desktop PCs,” said O’Donnell.

By John Kennedy