PC market grows at whitebox expense

Although the PC market experienced massive local growth in the second quarter this year, the whitebox market lost significant market share, according to preliminary figures released last week by IDC.

The results show the Australian PC market increased by 14% sequentially and by 22% from the same period in 2004.

The growth was spurred by a combination of tenders in the government and education sectors along with unseasonably strong demand in the consumer market.

IDC Senior Analyst for PC Hardware Michael Sager said the growth in the consumer market was spurred by the introduction of the first sub $1000 notebook to hit Australian shores.

"This not only increased uptake of consumer notebook PCs, but also increased foot traffic and awareness that led to consumer desktop PC sales," Sager said.

IDC found that price aggression was a major feature during the quarter.

"This has created a great diaspora of pricing levels for notebook vendors and shows that vendors are beginning to define their roles in the market," said Sager.

Sager said that as a result of this aggressive pricing by the multi-nationals, the whitebox market had slipped, but he was unable to provide exact figures yet.

"It is just becoming more and more difficult for local assemblers to compete," he said.

Sager was unable to release figures on the exact systems that were most popular. However, the largest growth area was notebooks which had over 60% sequential growth.

The research also found that there were major movements in market share with HP remaining in the top spot, and growing to have over 19% of the total market.

Dell also grew its share in second position to finish with a 14.5% share, having particular strength in the government sector.

Acer found itself in third place, finishing with 12.6% of the overall market, largely on the back of its success in the commercial and consumer markets.

Lenovo remained in fourth place and had a strong performance to gain with 7% of the total market. It was particularly strong result in desktop sales.

Toshiba grew its presence in the notebook market, finishing with 5.4% of the total market.

Rounding out the top 7 were Apple and Optima who both had success in the consumer and education markets.

"All in all, the vast majority of the market experienced growth with minor exceptions such as Samsung and the whitebox market," said Sager.

Gartner also reported outstanding growth with PC shipments in the Asia Pacific region totaling 18.8 million units in the first half of 2005, representing an 18 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Shipments of mobile PCs also reached a new high in the first half of the year, with 3.9 million units shipped, representing growth of 40.4 percent over the same period in 2004. Sales of mobile PCs accounted for 21 percent of the total PC sales in 2005, compared to 18 percent in 2004, according to Gartner.

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