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Growth in U.S. PC shipments falls


PC Shipments healthy elsewhere around globe

According to IDC’s Quarterly Worldwide PC Tracker the sales of PCs in the U.S. recently were predicting a 7 percent growth this year. Instead, the sales/shipment of PCs has been only 3.5 percent in the U.S. market. Contrasted with this are the shipments of PCs worldwide, which in Q1 of 2008 grew 14.6 percent (roughly 70 million units), two percentage points higher than expected.

Further, growth in the European, Middle Eastern and Africa (EMEA) region also shows signs of improvement.  Purchases in this region were more budget-conscious, with an emphasis on inexpensive and portable PCs. IDC also indicated that the top five PC vendors in the world remain unchanged, ranked from the top down: Hewlett-Packard, then following Dell, Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba bringing up the rear. 

Dell showed positive growth for a second consecutive quarter, with its shipments increasing nearly 22 percent over last year, and Acer was the growth leader at a 66 percent increase over last year. Acer’s acquisition of Gateway and Packard Bell has tallied toward Acer’s total shipments for two quarters now, and the combined companies actually had 20 percent less shipments than from the same quarter last year.

IDC indicated that Acer’s percentages are likely due to a weaker showing by Gateway-branded products. HP grew by 17.4 percent, the lowest of the top five, but still respectable. Analysts had predicted that after HP’s strong showing in 2007 that it would inevitably face somewhat of a drop.

PC Analyst for IDC, Doug Bell, indicated that, "The main issue is the economic situation in the U.S. It was the only region really impacted by the recession scare. Corporate IT budgets are showing that cautious approach. Spending on IT hardware is being delayed to the second half of this year or early next year, or at least tightened.”

Other good news for PC buyers is that the price of PCs continues to drop worldwide. The EeePC notebook from Asus is retailing as low as $299, when it can be found for purchase, that is. The popularity and demand for notebooks that are lighter weight, more durable and lower priced appears to be a worldwide trend.

Last modified on 17 April 2008
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