Irish PC market growth beats expectations for Q2


20 Jul 2004

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Preliminary second-quarter figures for the Irish PC market show that it grew by 23.3pc year-on-year, beating previous forecasts. The research firm IDC, which compiled the data, attributed the growth mainly to a very strong desktop market.

Desktop shipments increased by 18.8pc compared with the same period last year. Notebook computers, which have recently been outperforming desktops in growth terms, rose by 34.2pc. Shipments of Intel-based servers, also known as x86 systems, were up 39pc year-on-year. The preliminary shipment figures break down as follows: 70,700 desktops, 24,200 notebooks and 5,300 x86 servers.

Commenting on the results, IDC analyst Ian Gibbs said: “Consumers displayed very strong demand for both desktops and notebook offerings, fuelled by healthy retail activity and orders placed directly through Dell. Digital bundles and TFT demand are both big drivers.” The bundles attracting PC buyers include additions such as DVD/CD-RW drives, video/photo editing software, large numbers of USB and Firewire ports per PC, webcams, flash card readers and TV functionality complete with remote control.

Although IDC had correctly forecast double-digit growth for the notebook and server markets, it had only predicted single-digit growth for the desktop market. “We expected a business rebound in the desktop space, but had not foreseen it to be by this much in Q2,” Gibbs told siliconrepublic.com.

In terms of large volume shipments, the business market showed the most improvement, IDC found. According to Gibbs, large corporates have been undertaking renewals of ageing machines and upgrading to Windows XP, fuelling demand.

Gibbs said that the second quarter figures compared well with the first three months of the year. “Q2 is always a much smaller quarter than Q1 in terms of unit shipments; Q1 has the post-Christmas sales season, Q2 does not have any particular seasonal demand stimulating trends). Year-on-year growth has however been 10pc greater than in Q1. Desktop growth was only single-digit in Q1.”

Worldwide, IDC reported that PC sales increased by 15pc in the second quarter thanks to a rise in European sales and an increase in business demand. Global PC shipments in the first quarter came to 39.7 million units, nearly 2pc greater than IDC’s own previous forecast.

By Gordon Smith