Worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.7 million units in the first quarter of 2007, a 8.9 percent increase from the same period last year, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. The worldwide total is in line with Gartner’s earlier projections; however the geographic regions showed mixed results.
The United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Latin America regions performed better than Gartner’s forecast while Asia/Pacific and Japan shipments were lower than expected. The Asia/Pacific region surpassed the U.S. PC market to take the No. 2 position in terms of shipments for the first time.
Microsoft’s official consumer launch of Vista in January, had very limited impact on overall worldwide shipment demand on a quarterly basis. On a monthly basis, mature regions experienced a bubble in demand following its release. Vista adoption was primarily in the consumer and very small business segments of the mature regions.
Hewlett-Packard’s worldwide PC shipment growth far outpaced the industry average (see Table 1), with its worldwide PC shipments increasing 28.7 percent in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Dell had another difficult quarter experiencing below-average growth across many regions.
“HP was helped by the Vista operating system consumer launch in the mature regions, and it is benefiting from a strong position in the channel,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest’s Client Computing Markets Group. “The first quarter of 2007 was a transitional quarter for Dell as the company began a major restructuring project.”
Acer moved into the No. 3 position for worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter. The company’s shipment growth well exceeded the industry average across all regions. Although Lenovo dropped to the No. 4 position, the company achieved its highest year-over-year growth rate since its acquisition of IBM’s PC division.
In the U.S. PC market, PC shipments grew 2.9 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago. These results were higher than Gartner’s forecast which called for 0.6 percent growth. “The home segment continued to drive PC shipment growth in the U.S. market,” Ms. Kitagawa said.
Dell maintained the No. 1 position in the first quarter of 2007 (see Table 2), but its shipment growth was well below the industry average. The company’s results were mainly attributed to its weakness in the home market.
HP narrowed the gap with Dell for the top spot in the U.S. market. Early indications show that HP’s growth was driven by strong retail business and a steady increase of small and midsize business (SMB).
PC shipments in EMEA totaled 21.6 million units in the first quarter of 2006, a 13.7 percent increase from the same period last year. Strong demand in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and Middle East and Africa (MEA) regions bolstered the overall PC growth in EMEA. The EMEA PC market was again driven by strong consumer mobile PC demand. Growth in the professional market was soft with deskbased growth that was particularly weak.
In Asia/Pacific PC shipments reached 15.7 million units, a 10.3 percent increase from the first quarter of last year. The overall market performance was slightly weaker than projected due to weaker deskbased PC growth. In China, the first quarter is traditionally the weakest shipment quarter of the year due to the Lunar New Year celebrations. However, the PC market in China grew 15.2 percent in the first quarter with deskbased PC growth of 10.1 percent and mobile PC growth of 38.3 percent.
Mobile PC shipments also accounted for strong growth in Latin America. PC shipments in Latin America totaled 5.1 million in the first quarter, a 21 percent increase from the first quarter last year. Mobile PC shipments increased 86 percent in the first quarter. Through multiple PC offerings, easier and extended credit, bundling and product bonuses, retail channels continue to capture a substantial portion of the home and small business markets.
PC shipments in Japan surpassed 4 million units in the first quarter, a 6.8 percent decline from the same period last year. Both deskbased and mobile PC segments are expected to register year-over-year declines. The slow mobile PC growth was artificially affected by inventory control for the spring model releases. Some vendors intentionally reduced shipments at the end of the first quarter in order to prepare for the spring models that are being introduced in April.
These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations 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 Web site at http://www.gartner.com/it/products/research/asset_129157_2395.jsp
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