Rocketing PC growth confounds IDC chief

The New Zealand PC market is continuing to experience strong growth, according to the latest IDC figures. The number of PCs shipped for the July-to-September quarter (Q3) increased by more than 15% over Q3 1997. Just under 60,000 PCs were shipped. This follows increases in the previous two quarters. 'I scratch my head and ask why is the market growing?' says IDC's Dinesh Kumar.

The New Zealand PC market is continuing to experience strong growth, according to the latest IDC figures.

The number of PCs shipped for the July-to-September quarter (Q3) increased by more than 15% over Q3 1997. Just under 60,000 PCs were shipped. This follows increases in the previous two quarters.

IDC New Zealand general manager Dinesh Kumar has no explanation for the strong growth, given the Asian crisis and the flatness of the New Zealand economy. "I scratch my head and ask why is the market growing?"

About 18,500 went into the home market and the balance went into the corporate market. The home market figure in Q3 last year was 16,000. Kumar says most of the growth is coming from the likes of Hewlett-Packard with its Pavilion range, Compaq with the Presario and IBM with the Aptiva. He says these three companies would have collectively shipped about 9500 units. Almost 90% would be going into the home market.

Kumar says the value of the PC market is $204 million. He says the average value in Q3 1998 was $3400, which was a slight increase over Q3 1997, with $3238.

"The reason for that is we're seeing more growth in PC servers. That's obviously being led by the international brands, but the local brands are doing well in that space as well."

Compaq (now including Digital) continues to lead the market with more than 15,000 this quarter, giving it a market share of 25.3%. HP is still in second place and IBM is still in third. However, Dell has now made it into fourth place, pushing PC Direct into fifth place.

Kumar says Dell has grown by 115%. It has had two quite big tenders, including one into EDS for internal use.

He says Apple is still quite far down the chain. "I expect they'll do better in Q4. The iMac range is very successful but they only released the product in mid- to late September and we haven't see the full effect of that yet." He says in the fourth quarter the effects of a massive backlog of orders will be seen.The fourth quarter is also a good quarter for Apple because of the education sector kicking in.

Kumar says the education sector is still a bit flat, as is the government sector, but the SOHO market is experiencing good growth. Portables are also experiencing growth.

In Q3 1997, just over 8100 units were sold, and Q3 this year it was just over 9000. That increase is being driven by the move to slimmer notebook design and international brands going down the value chain, offering better value rather than sticking to the high end

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