China Experienced First Negative Growth; Lenovo and ASUS Gained Market Share
Asia Pacific personal computer (PC) shipments totaled 30.3 million units in the second quarter of 2012, a 2.6 percent decline compared with the same quarter in 2011, according to Gartner, Inc. The most notable decline came from China's PC market at 5.4 percent, marking its first year-on-year negative growth ever.
"Gloomy worldwide economies have put a dampener on PC spending in the region over the past year," said Lillian Tay, principal analyst for Gartner. "The wide array of alternate products entering the market is also affecting consumer spend, resulting in declining interest in PC spending."
The overall decline was reflected in both the mobile PC and desk-based PC shipment segments, decreasing 3.7 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. The professional segment declined for the second time this year, down 8 percent in 2Q compared with the same quarter a year ago as organisations deferred PC purchases where possible and reigned in their expansion plans, preferring to be more prudent not knowing how the market situation will evolve with all the uncertainties. The consumer segment managed to show better results but only grew only 3 percent in comparison to the same quarter in 2011.
At a country level, some of the biggest declines happened in Singapore (21.5 percent), Korea (11.9 percent) and Australia (9.2 percent). Smaller declines occurred in Hong Kong (1.4 percent), New Zealand (2.2 percent) and Taiwan (5 percent). Not all countries faced decline, however, with countries like India and Malaysia experiencing strong growth of 17 percent and 21.6 percent respectively, largely driven by mobile PC growth.
According to Gartner, mature PC markets are struggling to grow as PC penetration is high and there is less need to spend on PCs than in the past as there are now alternative products and services that will enable them to do all the tasks which used to be done on the PC. Major cities in emerging markets are also experiencing the same PC penetration issues and though opportunities are there in the smaller cities and rural areas, it takes time for the market to develop.
Table 1: Asia Pacific PC Shipments, Growth and Share, 2Q11-2Q12
Source: Gartner (August 2012)
"What is interesting to note is that despite much talk around the introduction of Ultrabooks, consumers did not proactively seek them out in their purchases, which is likely to be the result of prices remaining high throughout this period," said Ms Tay.
Both Lenovo and ASUS gained market share in the region in the second quarter of 2012 (see Table 2). Lenovo continues to hold the leading position, with shipments increasing 12.6 percent year-over-year. Despite its fifth position, ASUS' shipments have grown 24.8 percent, bucking the trend for declining shipment numbers in the region.
"Lenovo continued to pick up market share especially from HP and Dell. HP's re-organisation and Dell's change in its business strategy for better margins gains have affected their shipment levels," said Ms Tay.
"Vendors have made conscious efforts to control inventory over the past year, as they get ready for thinner notebooks with mainstream prices in the third quarter of 2012, as well as new Ultrabook product releases with Windows 8 in October."
Table 2: Asia Pacific PC Market Share: Top Five Vendors, 2Q11-2Q12
Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (August 2012)
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