Dataquest: Asia showed strong PC sales growth in 2002

The Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market saw sales reach 21.7 million units in 2002, 8.6 percent higher than in 2001, according to figures released Wednesday by Gartner Inc.'s Dataquest unit.

This comfortably outstripped the 3 percent growth of the worldwide PC market in 2002.

PC sales were helped by strong demand in China, easily the region's biggest PC market which now accounts for 42.9 percent of all PC sales. PC shipments in China grew 8.7 percent in 2002 to 9.29 million units. The next three largest markets are South Korea, Australia and India, which each topped the 2 million unit sales mark, according to Dataquest figures.

India was the fastest-growing major PC market, with sales rising by 11.8 percent over 2001, and the country now seems poised to overtake Australia as the region's third-biggest PC market.

Smaller markets showed very different fortunes: PC sales in Thailand rose 39.8 percent over a weak 2001 performance, with strong growth also evident in Malaysia (15.8 percent) New Zealand (14.5 percent) and Taiwan (12.4 percent).

But PC sales in Hong Kong fell 4 percent compared to 2001, with Singapore also showing a slight sales decline, and South Korea only posting growth of 0.6 percent, Dataquest said.

China's Legend Group extended its lead as the largest PC vendor in the region, lifting sales by 7.1 percent in 2002 compared to a 3 percent sales rise for its nearest rival Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP). IBM remained the third-largest vendor, although that position is threatened by Dell Computer Corp. whose sales grew 23 percent during the year compared to IBM's 6.1 percent growth.

Dell is putting a strong emphasis on growing in the China market while maintaining its strong hold on countries such as Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, Dataquest said.

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