IDC: Asia-Pacific PC market bleak, bar China

New Zealand PC shipments are down, but not by as much as shipments in countries such as Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea.

PC shipments in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) region in the third quarter of 2001 were 1% lower than in the same quarter last year, and would have been even lower but for strong 12.9% sales growth over the period in China, according to market analyst International Data Corporation (IDC).

In New Zealand, PC shipments were down by 5.8% over the last 12 months, meaning it did better than Australia (down 20%), Singapore (down 21.1%), Taiwan (down 18.9%) and Korea (down 10.5%).

Without the growth in China, which is easily the Asia-Pacific region's largest PC market, sales of personal computers would have fallen by 9% from the year-earlier figure, IDC says.

The already low confidence of businesses and consumers was further eroded by the September 11 attacks on the US. Also, most companies are extending their "wait and see" policy before investing in new hardware, and large PC procurement projects continue to be delayed. This attitude is likely to extend into at least the fourth quarter of 2001, IDC says.

China's PC sales grew from 2.01 million in the third quarter of 2000 to 2.27 million in the third quarter of 2001. The nation now accounts for 43% of PC sales in the region, compared with 30% a year ago. This market share growth came from increased shipments in China and also because the majority of countries in the region saw sales fall sharply from the year-earlier period, and from the second quarter of this year.

Malaysia and Philippines also bucked the negative trend, recording positive sales growth of over 10% compared to the third quarter of 2000, while Thailand's PC shipments also rose slightly, according to IDC.

China's homegrown manufacturer Legend Holdings now sells almost twice as many PCs as any other single vendor in the region. Behind Legend, which now has a 12.5% market share, come IBM, Compaq and Dell with market shares between 5% and 6.5%. While IBM and Compaq sales fell from the year-earlier period, Dell posted 37.6% growth following an aggressive push in China in both the consumer and commercial segments, IDC says.

Overall PC sales growth for the region in 2001 is expected to be 6.4%, rising to 14.2% in 2002, largely driven by China and India. Most Asian economies are expected to resume their traditional growth paths in late 2002 or early 2003, IDC says.

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