Worldwide PC shipments totaled 71.1 million units in the first quarter of 2008, a 12.3 percent increase from the first quarter of 2007, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.

“The U.S. results were in line with our expectation, indicating that the PC market was modestly affected by the U.S. recession, although there was no fundamental change in market conditions,” said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner’s Client Computing Markets group. “The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia/Pacific regions showed stronger than expected results, fueled by solid mobile PC growth across most countries. Latin America continues its rapid growth due to consumer spending.”

Hewlett-Packard extended its lead during the first quarter of 2008, as its worldwide market share increased to 18.3 percent, compared to a year ago. However, its regional performance was mixed. HP registered solid growth in EMEA and other regions while it struggled to increase shipment volumes in the U.S. market.

Dell registered its second consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in the worldwide market. Almost all regions grew higher than the regional average. Rapid retail expansion, as well as channel business, contributed to the solid shipment growth.


Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers. Acer data includes Gateway’s consumer shipments and Packard Bell shipments.
Source: Gartner (April 2008)

U.S. PC shipments reached 15.2 million units in the first quarter of 2008, a 3 percent increase from the same period last year. These results were on target with Gartner’s latest forecast. “The preliminary results show that the price pressure during the quarter was greater than we expected,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Indications are that the market felt the squeeze in the second half of the quarter. The U.S. market is softening and this can potentially hasten downward price pressure and further intensify competition for the rest of 2008.”

“Home mobile PC growth continued to drive U.S. PC growth,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Despite declining consumer confidence, U.S. consumers did not put off mobile PC purchases as evidenced by solid mobile growth during the first quarter. This growth was stimulated in part by aggressive price cuts.”

Dell extended its lead in the U.S. PC market with its market share reaching 31.4 percent. Dell’s channel program, Partner Direct, launched in December 2007, started yielding dividends, as well as its retail expansion. HP registered its lowest year-on-year growth since the Compaq merger in 2003.

Acer is trying to shift its target market from low-end to mid-range systems, and the shift has adversely affected Acer’s shipment volume. Gartner’s early results indicate that Apple experienced the strongest growth rate among the top 5 vendors in the U.S. market. Apple enjoyed strong retail sales, and there were indications that Apple showed decent growth in the professional market as well.


Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers. Acer data includes Gateway’s consumer shipments and Packard Bell shipments.
Source: Gartner (April 2008)

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 24.8 million units, a 14.9 percent increase from the first quarter of 2007. The strength of unit growth is linked in part to average selling price declines on mobile PCs. The increased competition in the consumer market from vendors such as Dell and Lenovo forced vendors to compete at the lower price points.

In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 19.1 million units in the first quarter of 2008, a 19 percent increase from the same period last year. Although there was caution in the region due to the slowdown in the U.S. economy, it did not generate an adverse pull back effect on PC spending in the first quarter. However, rising regional inflation is a concern for the second quarter if governments cannot bring some price stability.

Latin America PC shipments totaled 6.3 million units, a 19.1 percent increase from the same period last year. The consumer market performed strongly despite seasonality factors such as summer vacations in many South American countries and February’s carnival holiday season in Brazil. Strong inroads are being made by local branded vendors who are capitalizing from the booming retail markets. Retailers are providing PC financing in an unprecedented way.

The PC shipments in Japan grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008, as shipments reached 4.1 million units. The professional PC market grew 3.2 percent while the private market declined 3 percent. One of the growth inhibitors in the private market was the large volume of spring models shipped in late December 2007 from two major vendors. If those models had shipped in the first quarter of 2008, private market growth would have indicated positive growth of low single-digit.

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.

Source: Gartner, Inc.

MacDailyNews Note: Gartner’s Apple Mac estimates are prior to Apple’s financial earnings report due next Wed., April 23, 2008.