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IDC: Second quarter PC sales hit the bull's eye

Consumers wane as corporates wax

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The PC market rebounded as expected in the second quarter, according to the latest statistics from market watcher IDC, with PC shipments across all types up 22.4 per cent to 81.5 million units.

This is more or less in line with IDC's projections for the second quarter, which called for the world's desktop and laptop PC peddler to push out 81.9 million units, up 22.9 per cent compared to the year-ago quarter. Which was bad, with PC shipments dropping 3.1 percent to 66.3 million units, you'll remember, but not as bad as IDC expected back then.

"The PC market remains robust, and in a recovery phase, despite challenges to a broader economic recovery, such as slow job growth and a more conservative outlook in Europe and Asia/Pacific," explained Jay Chou, research analyst for IDC's worldwide quarterly PC tracker service. "The factors which led to the recent PC rebound - an aging commercial installed base, a proliferation of low-cost media-centric PCs, and low PC penetration through much of the world - remain key drivers going forward."

IDC said that the surge in consumer spending on PCs in the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 is slowing as expected, but spending by companies on new PCs is picking up. IDC says consumer PC spending will "remain healthy" but slow as 2010 progresses, and businesses will grow their PCs budgets as they do their cyclical replacements over the next couple of years.

On a global basis, IDC said that desktop shipments exceeded expectations but portable PCs were behind the forecasts.

By vendor, Hewlett-Packard was the top PC shipper in the second quarter, with 14.8 million units going out the door, an increase of 12.2 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2009. Dell managed to hold onto its lead over Acer, but just barely, with 10.6 million PCs shipped (up 19.1 per cent). Acer grew PC shipments by 20.8 per cent in the quarter, getting 10.2 million units out.

Lenovo was had killer growth of 47.3 per cent, with 8.3 million units, and Toshiba had 26.2 per cent growth and sold 4.3 million machines. Asus did even better in the growth department, with shipments up 83.6 per cent, to 4.3 million machines, essentially tying Toshiba. Other PC makers accounted for 28.9 million machines, and brought down the class average with a collective 17.3 per cent growth.

PC shipments in the United States were not so great, rising only 12.6 per cent to 18.4 million units, far short of the 18 per cent growth IDC had forecast. HP pushed out 4.72 million machines (up 14.2 per cent) compared to Dell's 4.41 million machines (up 10.9 per cent). Acer is finding the sledding tough in the US right now, and only saw a 1 per cent bump, to just a hair over 2 million units.

Apple ranked fourth in the States, with 1.62 million machines (rising 15.4 percent) and Toshiba rounded out the top five with 1.56 million machines (up 27.3 per cent). Other vendors in the US accounted for just over 4 million units, rising 13 per cent compared to the second quarter last year.

IDC said that PC sales in EMEA "met expectations" in the second quarter, but did not elaborate further, Japan had double-digit PC shipment growth, but nowhere near the 25 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2010, and in the Asia/Pacific region (not including Japan) shipments were up 35 per cent, 15 points higher than the 20 per cent growth in the first quarter. This was just shy of forecasts made by IDC. ®

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