First quarter PC sales exceed estimates

17 Apr 2008

Worldwide PC shipments grew by 14.6pc to 69.5 million units in the first quarter of 2008, according to analyst firm IDC, above previous estimates of 13.2pc.

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) was primarily responsible for the better-than-expected results as the market in this region maintained solid double-digit growth in Q108.

The Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) experienced better-than-expected growth for the quarter, while the Japanese market continued its trend of modest 1-2pc growth.

The US, however, has continued to suffer from its turbulent economic climate as the US PC market slipped to 3.5pc growth year-over-year.

“With the weak economy in the US, PC shipments were negatively impacted by cautious PC buying in the consumer and commercial markets,” said Doug Bell, research analyst, US PC Tracker Program, IDC.

“Despite the tough economic environment, shipment growth remained in positive territory, essentially driven by the sustained shift to mobility, combined with Dell’s renewed competitive stance.”

Demand for notebooks drove much of the growth globally, particularly demand from consumers.

“Notebook purchases are driving consumers beyond one PC per household to one PC per person and manufacturers are reacting by focusing their attention on customisation and personalisation,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice-president, clients and displays, IDC.

“The ability to see and touch these devices in the retail environment and pick one out that matches a consumer’s unique style is a critical part of the buying process for consumers.”

IDC predicted Microsoft’s release of Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista during the past quarter will eventually raise businesses demand for new PCs using Vista, although Vista made little impression during Q108.

HP and Dell led the market with 19.1pc and 15.7pc market share respectively, with Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba rounding out the top five.

By Niall Byrne