Global PC Market Growth For Q3 2010 Slips Below Expectations

Worldwide PC shipments increase by 11 percent but fall short of researcher IDC’s forecast. Tight consumer spending blamed for slow fall buying while business purchases remained on track. Apple posts strong PC shipment growth in period.

October 15, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Although PC shipments worldwide grew by 11 percent in the third quarter of 2010 to 89.7 million units, hardware manufacturers performed nearly three percent below expectations, according to preliminary figures compiled by researcher International Data Corp.

The researcher blamed lower than anticipated consumer results for the fall season but noted that the commercial market performed as expected and that in September, the last month of the quarter, shipments perked up from the earlier part of the period.

In addition, the overall market posted sequential quarter-over-quarter growth, IDC said.

While the consumer market for desktop PCs flagged during the period, unit shipments to businesses propped up the overall platform. Consumers turned away from notebook and mini-notebook PCs, continuing the trend of recent quarters, according to the researcher.

"Despite a sluggish start, the quarter ended with a good rally in September which could be a good prelude for what is ahead," said Jay Chou, IDC research analyst.

Another bright spot was Apple Computer Inc.’s performance in the U.S. during the period. The vendor shipped nearly 2 million units for the third quarter 2010 for a 10.6 percent share of the market and a 24 percent leap over last year’s totals for the period.

"Apple's influence on the PC market continues to grow, particularly in the U.S., as the company's iPad has had some negative impact on the mini-notebook market,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC vice president, clients and displays.

“But, the halo effect of the device also helped propel Mac sales and moved the company into the number three position in the U.S. market," he said.

Brighter Q4 outlook, researcher says

IDC suggested that PC unit shipments worldwide will perk up in the fourth quarter.

"Lower PC component costs, budding excitement around new media-centric form factors and continued business buying should still make for a competitive holiday season,” Chou said.

According to IDC’s data, Hewlett-Packard Co. outperformed its competitors in global PC shipments during the third quarter 2010 at 15.8 million units for a 17.6 percent share of the market but a .1 percent slide from the prior year’s quarter.

Of the top six PC vendors worldwide, HP was the only manufacturer to slip from its performance during the similar period last year.

For example, Acer shipped 11.6 million PCs during the third quarter 2010 for a 13 percent share of the market and a 7 percent uptick over last year’s totals. Similarly, Dell shipped 11.1 million PCs during the period for a 12.4 percent share of the market and a 9.7 percent growth over last year’s figures.

Lenovo, ASUS and Toshiba, which finished in fourth, fifth and six places, respectively, in worldwide PC shipments for the period, outflanked the leaders in terms of growth, with Lenovo rising 32.9 percent, ASUS 30.5 percent and Toshiba 14.6 percent from totals posted during the same period last year.

On a regional basis, shipments by PC makers within the U.S. rose only 3.8 percent from the third quarter last year, well below IDC’s projections of 11 percent growth for the period and far behind the 11.7 percent growth of the second quarter.

TAGS: PC,Apple,HP,IDC,shipment

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