Australia slips in Asia-Pacific PC market

Australia is no longer the region's third biggest PC market due to flat growth for the past year, according to research group IDC.

PC sales in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) in the second quarter of 2002 hardly grew from the level in the first quarter, but are around 5 per cent higher in unit terms than they were one year ago, according to research companies IDC and Gartner.

According to IDC, PC shipments for the second quarter of 2002 reached 5.8 million, 5.4 per cent higher than last year's figure of 5.5 million.

China, easily the region's largest PC market, grew by 6.6 per cent over the year-earlier period to total 2.5 million units, or a 43 per cent share of the overall market.

Korea is the second largest market in the region, with sales up 7.8 per cent over the year-ago period at 874,000. India has overtaken Australia as the region's third biggest PC market, with second-quarter sales of 537,000 compared to Australia's 525,000. PC sales in Australia have not grown in the past year, while India chalked up 5.8 per cent growth, IDC said.

Most of the countries in the region have seen growing PC sales except for Hong Kong, where a large one-off government purchase last year led to this year's sales showing a 23.9 per cent fall. Mature markets such as Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand have grown slower than developing markets like Thailand and Indonesia, IDC said.

Asia is taking a larger share of global PC sales as growth rates in the region outpace those elsewhere in the world, according to Gartner figures.

Asia's year-on-year growth figure of 5 per cent compares with sales falls in Japan (12 per cent), the US (0.8 per cent), Europe Middle East and Africa (0.3 per cent), and modest growth in Latin America (4.3 per cent) and Canada (1.4 per cent).

Asia now accounts for 17 per cent of worldwide PC sales, up from 16.1 per cent a year ago, Gartner said.

The vendor picture has changed, with the combined Hewlett-Packard and Compaq brands seeing shipments fall by 16.1 per cent over the last year to 4.63 million, while nearest rival Dell Computer saw shipments rise by 13.1 per cent to 4.46 million.

In Asia-Pacific, Chinese manufacturer Legend Group is the market leader, posting 12.9 per cent growth to reach sales of 711,000 units for the second quarter of 2002. HP, IBM and Dell are the next largest vendors, with Dell strengthening its position with year-on-year sales growth of 16.6 per cent, Gartner said.

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David Legard

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