Worldwide PC Market Spikes 27 Percent in Q1, Researcher Says

Forecasts 5 percent uptick in global IT spending for 2010

Resuscitation of the worldwide market for personal computers received an unexpected boost in Q1 2010 as shipments spiked some 27 percent to 84.3 million units when compared to results for the same period last year, according to researcher Gartner Inc.

The researcher also forecast a 5.3 percent uptick in worldwide IT spending to $3.4 trillion in 2010, and an ensuing 4.2 increase to more than $3.5 trillion in 2011.

Gartner attributed the better-than-expected Q1 2010 performance to PC replacements in mature markets, particularly in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which together outpaced the Americas, collectively posting 24.8 percent growth.

Hewlett-Packard Co. led worldwide market PC makers with 15.3 million units shipped for 19.9 percent growth and an 18.2 percent share of the market during the period. HP’s share of the PC market stood at 19.3 percent for the similar quarter last year.

HP’s unit shipment growth rate for the period trailed far behind that of Acer at 54.3 percent, Lenovo at 59.2 percent and Toshiba at 35.8 percent, and lagged the segment’s average quarterly growth of 27.4 percent.

For the first quarter of 2010, Acer shipped about 12 million PC’s worldwide, Dell moved some 10.2 million unit units, Lenovo recorded about 6.9 million units shipped and Toshiba recorded about 4.6 million units globally.

Upstart ASUSTek Computer Inc. joined the worldwide top five ranking for the first time with 4.6 million units shipped for the period, more than doubling its performance for the same period in 2009.

“These first quarter results indicated that the professional PC market is gradually picking up, driven by PC replacements in mature markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner principal analyst.

“With a relatively positive macroeconomic outlook, business demand was more forthcoming,” Kitagawa said.

She said that Gartner is predicting that the worldwide demand for PCs will continue to gain momentum later this year and next.

“Major PC replacement demand driven by Window 7 will become more apparent in the second half of 2010 and the beginning of 2011,” Kitagawa said.

Strong growth in U.S. PC Shipments

In the U.S. market, PC shipments totaled some 17.4 million units for Q1 2010 for a 20.2 percent increase from the first quarter last year. The U.S. market has now posted two consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in unit shipments.

HP is the market leader for PC shipments in the U.S. with 4.3 million units and a 25 percent share of the market for the quarter but, similar to its global performance, the computer maker’s growth rate for the period lagged that of some of its rivals, in this case Acer, Toshiba, and Apple Computer Inc.

Gartner said that the market was ripe for increased IT spending, following strong fourth quarter sales, a solid supply chain for the first quarter of 2010 and an improving global economy.

Hardware spending is expected to grow at 5.7 percent to $353 billion in 2010, followed by a 5.1 percent jump in software spending to $232 billion, the researcher said. The hottest software segments through 2014 are expected to include virtualization, security, data integration and business intelligence.

Gartner said that spending on IT services is forecast to increase by 5.7 percent to $821 billion. Telecom spending is predicted to approach $2 trillion in 2010, the researcher said.

“We continue to see a long-term recession hangover as a more cautious mind set continues as the norm among a lot of buyers who keep looking for safe deals where cost take-out is a key factor,” said Kathryn Hale, Gartner research vice president.

Gartner said that its PC shipment findings for the quarter expressed preliminary results. The researcher expects to post adjustments to its figures in short order.

TAGS: software,PC,HP,hardware,market share

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