Desktops re-emerge as PC shipments grow in Q1, IDC says

PC shipments rise by 24.2 percent during the first quarter of 2010, according to IDC

Worldwide PC shipments increased by 24.2 percent during the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year, with desktop PC shipments growing for the first time in more than a year, IDC said in a survey released on Wednesday.

Demand for consumer PCs was buoyed by strong consumer demand and increased commercial buying, IDC said in a statement. Desktop shipments grew partly due to a growing interest in the U.S. and developing markets and the emergence of specialized designs like all-in-one PCs. Desktop shipments were declining since the third quarter of 2008.

PC shipments totaled roughly 79.1 million units during the quarter, compared to 63.7 million PCs that shipped in the year-ago quarter. Desktop shipments took roughly 40 percent of all PC shipments, which exceeded expectations, said Jay Chou, research analyst at IDC. The desktop shipments grew by approximately 6 percent to 7 percent on a year-over-year basis, while IDC had originally forecast approximately 1 percent growth, Chou said.

Demand for laptops remained the main driver for PC shipment growth, with strong demand in the consumer segment, Chou said. The craze around netbooks has waned, but there was a resurgence in demand for mainstream laptops as prices dropped, Chou said. The low-cost netbooks deliver low margins, and vendors are also shifting focus to mainstream laptops to improve profitability.

Laptops are increasingly being purchased by companies on an as-needed basis, and the need is getting more urgent as the installed base ages, Chou said. There are encouraging signs of laptop demand rebounding in the commercial space in mature markets like Japan and the U.S.

"The commercial gains are a cornerstone of market rebound that we've been expecting and are now seeing in the data," IDC said in a statement.

Hewlett-Packard retained its title as the world's top PC vendor, with shipments totaling 15.6 million, growth of 19.9 percent from the year-ago quarter and a 19.7 percent market share. Acer solidified its position as the world's second-largest PC vendor, with shipments growing by 42.5 percent to 10.8 million, a 13.6 percent market share. Dell, in the third spot, posted gains of 21.1 percent, with shipments totalling 10.5 million, a 13.3 percent market share. Lenovo posted the fastest gains in PC shipments with year-over-year growth of 58.3 percent, with shipments totaling around 7 million units. Toshiba took the fifth spot.

HP was also the top PC vendor in the U.S., followed by Dell, Acer, Toshiba and Apple, according to IDC.

Another research firm, Gartner, also released numbers for worldwide PC shipments on Thursday, saying worldwide PC shipments grew by 27.4 percent this year.

(IDC is owned by International Data Group, the parent company of IDG News Service.)

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