The fourth quarter (Q4) continued to be the busiest selling season for the PC sector with revenues for the quarter up 15.5pc, according to IDC. HP emerged as the world’s number one PC maker, followed by Dell, Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba.
The back-to-school rush in EMEA that saw growth of 20pc in Q3 is understood to have subsided by Q4 but growth was still ahead of the previous five quarters. The US market grew by 8.8pc and there was stronger than expected growth in Japan and Latin America.
For the whole of 2007, total PC shipments reached 269m, up 14.3pc.
“Fourth quarter results show a very healthy PC market,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. “There is a lot happening with vendors repositioning their channels and going after new markets, while falling prices and portable adoption continue to drive volume.
“Despite fourth-quarter strength, projections for the next couple years anticipate slower growth. Rising concerns about economic growth are likely to reduce expectations further, although we’re still likely to see double digit growth through 2008 and probably 2009,” Loverde added.
HP took the top spot with volume of over 50.5m, with Dell in second place with 50m units shipped, followed by Acer which shipped 21.2m PCs and Lenovo which shipped 20.2m PCs.
“The better-than-expected growth in the US market can be largely attributed to channel realignment among key players, particularly through the retail expansion of Dell and Acer,” said David Daoud, research manager, Personal Computing.
“The results, however, do not reflect changes in the fundamentals of demand. Consumers continue to be attracted by mobile platforms and are benefiting from the proliferation of channels and heightened competition, which continue to bring prices down.
“Going forward, demand could soften further if bad news over the economy persists and consumer confidence worsens,” Daoud warned.
By John Kennedy