IDC: PC Sales Worldwide Rose 13.6 Percent in 2010 Despite Lackluster Q4 and Strong Tablet Sales

Researcher’s PC shipment data shows sluggish 2.7 percent Q4 2010 bump worldwide and modest 5.7 percent year-over-year increase in the U.S. Market leader HP’s share slips as Lenovo posts impressive gains for the quarter and the year.

January 17, 2011
By

D.H. Kass

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Worldwide PC shipments jumped nearly 14 percent in 2010 compared to last year, despite a relatively meager performance in the fourth quarter, a soft consumer market and vigorous sales of media tablets, according to new data compiled by researcher International Data Corp.

Industry vendors shipped about 346 million PCs last year—including a record 92 million units in the fourth quarter—driven early in the year by a feverish pace of recovery set in the first two quarters, IDC said. In compiling shipment data, the researcher counts desktops, portables and mini-notebooks but not handheld devices and x86-based servers.

IDC’s earlier projections for global PC shipments for 2010 reflected sluggish growth owing to weakening demand for desktops and notebooks amid a clamor for media tablets. The researcher said that caution and hesitation still dominates the consumer PC market.

Hewlett-Packard Co. remained the worldwide market leader for PC shipments in 2010 with 64 million units shipped for the year, a 6.9 percent spike over last year’s totals and an 18.5 percent share of the market.

HP’s share of the global PC market for 2010 slipped more than 1 percent, however, as Dell Inc., at 43.4 million units, Acer Group, at 42.4 million units, and Toshiba, at 19 million units, all posted slight gains while Lenovo Group Ltd.’s share, prodded by shipments of 34 million units for the year, rose nearly two percent to about 10 percent, according to IDC’s data.

Global Q4 2010 PC shipments climb less than 3 percent

Worldwide PC unit shipments in 2010 may have improved even more if not inhibited by a lackluster Q4 performance, a rapid climb in tablet sales and the high bar set by year-ago sales, according to the researcher.

Gartner’s earlier projections estimated PC shipments humming along at a 5.5 percent uptick for 2010’s fourth quarter but the industry slogged in at about half that, shipping 2.7 percent, or only 2.4 million units more, than during the same period last year.

"The US market was expected to shrink year-over-year given the exploding growth experienced in the fourth quarter of 2009,” said David Daoud, IDC research director. “Growth steadily slowed throughout 2010 as weakening demand and competition from the Apple iPad constrained PC shipments,” he said.

“In addition to relatively high market penetration and a 'good-enough' computing experience with existing PCs, consumers are being more cautious with their purchases and competing devices have been vying for consumer dollars,” Daoud said. “This situation is likely to persist in 2011, if not worsen, as a wave of Media Tablets could put a dent in the traditional PC market," he said.

HP slips in Q4 but still leads market

PC market leader HP shipped 160,000 fewer PCs globally in the fourth quarter of 2010 than it moved during the same period last year, a performance decline of nearly 1 percent, IDC said. The vendor’s share of the market slid slightly less than 1 percent to 19.5 percent for the quarter, according to the researcher.

Dell moved into the second spot worldwide for PC shipments for Q4 2010 with 11 million units shipped, an increase of 4 percent over the same period last year and a 12 percent share of the market, IDC said.

Acer, which held the second slot in global PC shipments in 2009 with 12.8 percent of the market, slid to third place with a 10.6 percent share for Q4 2010, posting a precipitous 15 percent dip in units shipped compared to last year.

By contrast, Lenovo recorded a whopping 21 percent climb for Q4 2010 worldwide at 9.5 million PCs shipped, boosting its share of the market from 8.8 percent to 10.4 percent when compared to the same period last year, IDC said.

Similarly, Toshiba posted a 12 percent increase in global PC shipments for the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year, holding the fifth spot at slightly less than 6 percent of the market, IDC said.

In the U.S. market for Q4 2010, PC shipments fell 4.8 percent year-over-year, as HP and Dell each recorded declines in excess of 5 percent and Acer slid a whopping 28.5 percent, while Toshiba and Apple posted gains of about 15 percent each for the period, according to IDC.

"Consumer fatigue is playing an important role in many markets as the mini notebook surge wanes and consumers watch their spending and evaluate other products," said Jay Chou, IDC research analyst.

“These factors are likely to slightly reduce growth from previous projections of about 10 percent for 2011, although replacements in the commercial segment and aggressive competition should still support double-digit growth in the second half of the year," he said.

TAGS: PC,tablet,HP,IDC,sales



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