IDC: Netbooks keep Q3 PC sales afloat

Analyst group says a strong Australian dollar and sales of mini-notebooks saw Asus continue to increase marketshare

The PC market remained buoyant during the third quarter

The PC market remained buoyant during the third quarter

Sales of mini-notebooks (netbooks) and a strong Australian dollar kept the PC market buoyant during the third quarter of this year, according to new IDC figures.

The firm’s PC analyst, Felipe Rego, said the total PC market recorded 17.2 per cent year-on-year growth overall. A key factor was the soaring Australian dollar against the US greenback, which kept prices low and people spending. The Australian dollar hit a 25-year high of $0.98 against the US in mid-July. At time of press, it was trading at $0.64.

HP continued as the overall PC and notebook leader with 20.4 per cent marketshare, followed by Dell on 15.8 per cent. Acer continued in third place with 14 per cent marketshare. But it was Asus’ soaring growth, prompted by the launch of the Eee PC, that drove growth in Q3, Rego said.

“Asus is still seventh in terms of marketshare, but its growth rate was impressive – while HP grew 21.7 per cent year-on-year in terms of volume, Asus grew 234 per cent. This shows sales of Eee PCs contributed a lot,” Rego said. “The mini-notebook space has got out of the 20,000 per quarter market to more than double that in Q3. Asus’ growth shows the importance of this category.”

Asus came in fifth across the notebook space with 9.4 per cent marketshare in Q3, up from 4 per cent year-on-year. However, Rego pointed out Acer is gaining ground in the netbook category.

“There’s a strong fight between Asus and Acer in terms of marketshare in the mini-notebook space and together they hold roughly 80 per cent of that market,” Rego said. “Asus kept a strong leadership position, but Acer is offering good products in this category.”

Rego predicted a lower result for Q4 and a tougher time for PC vendors. He also forecast a continual shift towards notebooks. In Q3, notebooks represented 55 per cent of overall sales.

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