Businesses boost growth in Irish PC shipments


8 Aug 2003

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Ireland’s business sector is driving growth in local PC shipments, according to new data from the industry analyst IDC. Small and medium enterprises in particular have accounted for much of the growth in the three months to the end of June, as manufacturers have placed extra focus on this market sector.

The research firm’s final figures for the second quarter of the year indicate that desktop shipments have grown 11.4pc year-on-year, with notebooks up by 29pc and servers improving by 20.6pc. The growth comes despite the continued unfavourable economic conditions, said IDC research analyst Ian Gibbs.

“Many large businesses who renewed their PCs around four to five years ago have really been stretching the life-cycles of their computers in an effort to remain inside constrictive corporate budgets,” he explained. “These companies are now slowly starting to make renewals of necessity as they realise that PC upgrades can not be delayed inevitably. The small and medium business sector has been the main driver of business PC growth however – with many vendors, Dell and HP for example, making them a specific focus.”

Aggressive pricing strategies further stimulated demand in the quarter, Gibbs added. “The depreciation of the dollar against the euro has allowed vendors to make considerable cost reductions which can be passed onto the PC buyer in the form of lower prices,” he said.

The local consumer market fared poorly however; IDC called the sector “depressed” and attributed this to low consumer confidence and rising unemployment. “Consumer notebook shipments did improve year-on-year, but we are still talking about very small units (3,500) – not enough to compensate for the decline in consumer desktops,” said Gibbs.

As for manufacturers, IDC Q2 figures show that Dell leads every market segment, except for the consumer notebook market and the server market, where HP came out on top. Competitive pricing helped HP in the consumer notebook market, IDC said.

Three of the top 10 PC suppliers are Irish companies – Dundalk-based iQon, PC Pro of Cork and Dublin-based Computer City. All experienced positive growth in the quarter; IDC found that iQon managed to increase shipments in an otherwise declining consumer desktop market, through competitive pricing and good product offerings.

As reported in siliconrepublic.com, total PC shipments in Ireland for Q2 were 80,600. The final data shows little change from the preliminary figures released last month. Dell had the highest share of the market with 33.8pc. HP was in second place, although its adjusted share of 20pc represents an increase, rather than a decline indicated by the preliminary data. HP’s growth came at the expense of other brands outside the top 10. The table is rounded out by IBM in third place with 10.1pc, followed by iQon (7.1pc), Fujitsu Siemens (5.9pc), Toshiba (3.6pc), PC Pro (2pc), Computer City (1.9pc), Apple (1.5pc) and Packard Bell (1.4pc).

By Gordon Smith