IDC New Zealand's preliminary figures on PC shipments in this country put Compaq at the head of the race for shipping the most PCs in the fourth quarter of 1998.
According to IDC, Compaq came first with 10,600 units shipped, followed by Hewlett-Packard with 7200; IBM with 6500; Dell with 5049; Apple with 4413; and PC Direct with 3700.
Country manager Dinesh Kumar says the figures still have to be verified by IDC Asia-Pacific and that dollar values were still not available. He says total New Zealand shipments for 1998 were 263,000 compared to 242,000 in 1997.
IDC New Zealand was forced to add 30,000 extra units to the 1998 figures after its original numbers were questioned by local manufacturers. Kumar says with between 200 and 400 players in the local assembly market, it was difficult to get correct shipment figures, especially from "third-tier" assemblers. He says IDC in Malaysia, China and Singapore had suffered a similar problem.
Overall growth in the PC market lagged behind worldwide trends, notes Kumar, who says the figure for growth of PC shipments in New Zealand is somewhere between 8% to 10% compared to 12.1% growth worldwide. Kumar attributes the sluggishness to the size and saturation of the New Zealand market. "The local market is small and also the existing customers are pretty much happy with their PCs and don't feel the need to upgrade them," says Kumar.
Worldwide, fourth-quarter growth grew 15% year-on-year, up 23% compared to the previous quarter, according to preliminary estimates of IDC. The shipments hit 27.3 million units last quarter, while the total number of PCs shipped in 1998 was nearly 90 million units, compared to 80.3 million in 1997.
Demand in the US was driven by Windows 98, Apple's iMac and low-cost Intel-based PCs, as well as the phenomenon of direct sales by manufacturers, IDC says. Western Europe's strong economy helped fuel PC market growth in that region. However, economic woes in Japan, Asia-Pacific, and Eastern Europe held back the growth of the PC market worldwide.Worldwide Compaq held on to first place for both the fourth quarter and the year in the US as well as worldwide.
IDC credits the company with solving inventory problems that have plagued it, becoming more aggressive on pricing and enjoying healthy demand for its consumer-oriented products. Second place worldwide was IBM, which IDC says did well toward the end of the year in its consumer business.
The company has also had strong sequential growth rates for the past two quarters, IDC says. Dell took second place in the US, although it's in third place globally behind IBM. Dell's growth rate worldwide last year was an astonishing 63%. HP came in fourth in the global PC market.