By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The worldwide PC market saw double-digit shipment growth in the second quarter, according to both Gartner and IDC market research firms. The firms each saw a 15 to 16 percent increase in the market compared with the same quarter last year. Each noted consumers' continued attraction to portable PCs, but each also warned that economic forces could take a toll going forward.
"Despite the economic headwinds, the PC market continued to show its resilience," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's worldwide quarterly PC tracker. "Product refreshes, vendor competition for channels and aggressive pricing add to the ongoing trend toward portable computing in attracting buyers. The steady growth, despite the pressure on consumer finances, reflects the increasingly important role of PCs within personal technology, and steady improvements in price and design. Nevertheless, economic pressures are mounting and PC market growth is expected to decline over the next year. The relatively strong PC market in recent quarters does not mean that the sector is immune to the changing economic environment."
Similarly, Mike Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner's client computing Markets group, said, "Mobile PCs continued to lead unit growth across all regions as the average selling price (ASP) of mobile PCs declined sharply relative to desk-based PC ASPs.
"Economic uncertainties have hit PC revenues, resulting in steep ASP declines, especially in markets such as the United States and Europe, the Middle East and Africa region. The industry could ultimately see a significant wave of consolidation if stronger vendors continue to press their pricing advantage," he said.
In terms of specific companies, Hewlett-Packard maintained its lead in worldwide PC shipment market share.
Dell followed with growth that IDC said outpaced the market in all regions. Gartner attributed its growth to its "expansion into retail and other indirect channels."
Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba filled out the respective third, fourth and fifth positions in the market worldwide.
The U.S. market saw single-digit growth in the second quarter of 2008 vs. the same quarter in 2007. While IDC called this growth "sluggish," Gartner took on a slightly more optimistic tone, noting that this increase took place "despite continuing U.S. economic woes." Of course, Gartner also said that "this acceleration appears to have been achieved at the expense of revenues as vendors appear to have cut prices in response to those woes,"
David Daoud, personal computing research manager at IDC, warned, "Given the current economic fundamentals, demand could remain depressed in the coming quarters if economic pressures continue, even with sustained price decreases."
Dell maintained its lead position in the U.S. market, with PC shipments accounting for roughly 32 percent of U.S. market share.
Worldwide leader HP held on to the No. 2 position in the United States, with slightly more than 25 percent market share.
Apple came in third with about 8 percent share, and Acer rode its coattails with a market share lower by only tenths of a percent.
In the No. 5 slot, Toshiba had roughly 5.5 percent market share and various other companies accounted for the remaining approximate 20 percent of the U.S. market.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.