Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Returned to Growth in Third Quarter of 2009

Asia/Pacific and US Show More Obvious Signs of a PC Recovery While EMEA Region Shows Ongoing Weakness / Windows 7 Launch to Have Minimal Impact on PC Shipment Growth

(PresseBox) ( Stamford, )
The PC industry performed better than expected as worldwide PC shipments totalled 80.9 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 0.5 per cent increase from the third quarter of 2008, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. Gartner had expected PC shipments to decline 5.6 per cent in the quarter.

"These are good results especially given that PC shipments for the third quarter of 2009 are being compared to a very strong third quarter from 2008," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Sequentially, third quarter shipments grew 18 per cent, which is higher than the historical seasonal growth from the second to third quarter."

"The consumer market continued to lead unit shipment growth, driven by low priced mobile PCs," Ms Kitagawa said. "Ongoing price declines continue to be a major issue in the PC industry. PC vendor performance cannot be determined solely by unit market share gains as related revenues and margin performance are key to surviving in very competitive market."

Hewlett-Packard (HP) continued to lead the worldwide PC market as its shipment growth exceeded the worldwide average (see Table 1). HP did well in Asia/Pacific, particularly in China.

Table 1 Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q09 (Thousands of Units)

Company 3Q09 Shipments 3Q09 Market Share (%) 3Q08 Shipments 3Q08 Market Share (%) 3Q09-3Q08 Growth (%)

Hewlett-Packard 16,120 19.9 14,785 18.4 9.0

Acer 12,484 15.4 10,098 12.5 23.6

Dell Inc. 10,343 12.8 11,089 13.8 -6.7

Lenovo 6,878 8.5 5,941 7.4 15.8

Toshiba 4,036 5.0 3,643 4.5 10.8

Others 31,003 38.3 34,914 43.4 -11.2

Total 80,864 100.0 80,470 100.0 0.5

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.

Source: Gartner (October 2009)

Gartner analysts said the launch of Microsoft's latest operating system (OS), Windows 7, should have a minimal impact on PC unit growth. But inventory adjustments around the launch could artificially affect shipment volumes during the third and fourth quarters of 2009.

"Recent OS releases have not been a growth driver in the PC market, however the timing of Windows 7 is favourable for the industry due to expected economic improvements and an overdue hardware replacement cycle," Ms Kitagawa said. "We anticipate renewed interest in hardware upgrades from consumers and small business during the holiday season as a result of Windows 7's release. In the corporate market, Windows 7's adoption is not expected to ramp up until late 2010.

Regional Breakout

After three consecutive quarters of year-on-year shipment declines, PC shipments in the US totalled 17.8 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 3.9 per cent increase from the third quarter of last year (see Table 2).

"The consumer mobile PC market drove US shipment growth in the third quarter of 2009, fuelled by back to school sales," Ms Kitagawa said. "However, the results came with a revenue loss because of very steep declines in average selling prices (ASPs). Consumers were comfortable buying PCs, but they were relentlessly looking for bargains. Our preliminary research shows consumer mobile PC ASPs declined more than 20 per cent compared to a year ago."

Dell maintained its No. 1 position in PC shipments in the US, however its shipments declined 8.9 per cent in the quarter. Gartner analysts said this could be attributed to Dell emphasizing profit protection rather than market share expansion.

Table 2 Preliminary United States PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q09 (Thousands of Units)

Company 3Q09 Shipments 3Q09 Market Share (%) 3Q08 Shipments 3Q08 Market Share (%) 3Q09-3Q08 Growth (%)

Dell Inc. 4,668 26.2 5,127 29.9 -8.9

Hewlett-Packard 4,574 25.7 4,454 26.0 2.7

Acer 2,481 13.9 1,538 9.0 61.4

Apple Computer 1,572 8.8 1,471 8.6 6.8

Toshiba 1,427 8.0 979 5.7 45.8

Others 3,097 17.4 3,589 20.9 -13.7

Total 17,819 100.0 17,158 100.0 3.9

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.

Source: Gartner (October 2009)

The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) PC market had a double-digit decline in the third quarter of 2009. PC shipments in EMEA totalled 26 million units, a 10.1 per cent decrease from the same period in 2008 (see Table 3).

Table 3

Preliminary EMEA PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q09 (Thousands of Units)

Company 3Q09 Shipments 3Q09 Market Share (%) 3Q08 Shipments 3Q08 Market Share (%) 3Q09-3Q08 Growth (%)

Acer 6,687 25.7 5,947 25.7 12.4

Hewlett-Packard 5,174 19.9 5,379 19.9 -3.8

Dell Inc. 2,290 8.8 2,781 8.8 -17.6

ASUS 1,881 7.2 2,106 7.2 -10.7

Toshiba 1,340 5.1 1,635 5.1 -18.0

Others 8,652 33.2 11,104 33.2 -22.1

Total 26,024 100.0 28,952 100.0 -10.1

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.

Source: Gartner (October 2009)

"The EMEA PC market in the third quarter of 2009 continued to be weak across all EMEA countries," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst for Gartner's Client Computing Markets group in EMEA. "While the market declined 4.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter, this indicates both a bottoming out of the slump and a modest return to seasonal patterns."

The professional market continued to be very weak in the mobile and desk-based PC markets with both segments seeing double-digit declines. "Despite some signs of return in IT spending, hardware will continue to see lifecycles extended. PCs were the first sector impacted by cost containment strategies at the beginning of the year and are likely to be the last IT segment to see a return to spending," added Mr Atwal.

The mobile PC consumer market supported the Western Europe market, and the share of mini-notebooks increased as most vendors drove higher volumes. Mini-notebook shipments represented more than 20 per cent of the total EMEA mobile PC market.

Acer again gained the No. 1 position from HP in the third quarter of 2009. Dell showed one of the weakest performances this quarter, with a 17.6 per cent decline year-on-year as its reliance on the weak professional market continued to hold it back. "With no imminent return to growth in the professional market, Dell can expect to continue to lose share. HP also saw the same demise in the professional market but managed to see some upside from the consumer market," said Mr Atwal.

"We predict that the EMEA PC market will see a 10 per cent decline for 2009. 2010 will begin slowly as the launch of Windows 7 in the coming days is not expected to see mainstream professional market adoption until the second half of 2010," concluded Mr Atwal.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific registered 25.2 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 16.1 per cent increase from the third quarter of 2008. This strong rebound was primarily attributed to the surge in PC shipments in China and emerging markets in South East Asia that registered strong double-digit growth rates. The PC market in China is estimated to have grown 28.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2009.

In Latin America, PC shipments totalled 6.9 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a decline of 3.9 per cent, from the same period last year. This is the last quarter of expected contraction. Fourth quarter unit shipments in 2009 are expected to grow at 29.6 per cent. Much of this has to do with the fact that PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2008 were so low. However, the generally improving economic scenario in Latin America and the likely strong fourth quarter holiday sales season should also drive growth.

PC shipments in Japan totalled 3.2 million units in the third quarter of 2009, a 15.1 per cent decline. Both the professional and consumer markets were weak. The consumer market declined 13.8 per cent in the quarter, after nine consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth.

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region programme. This programme offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organisations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe. Additional research can be found on Gartner's Computing Hardware section on Gartner's website at
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