Asia reports 'spectacular' PC sales

The Asia-Pacific PC market enjoyed a stellar 2007, growing 20.9 percent and shipping 66.6 million units last year, IDC figures indicate.

The Asia-Pacific PC market enjoyed robust sales in 2007 and continues to be spurred by portable personal computers, according to an IDC study.

In its report released Monday, the research house said preliminary results indicated that the regional PC market, excluding Japan, shipped 66.6 million units last year, registering an annual growth rate of 20.9 percent.

"It was a spectacular year for the PC market in Asia," said Bryan Ma, Asia-Pacific director of personal systems research at IDC. "Even though wildcards such as the U.S. economy are looming overhead, the fundamentals are so solid that the market could very well beat our conservative expectations for 16.8 percent growth in 2008."

According to IDC, portable PCs continue to be a key driver, with nearly every country in the region posting double-digit growth for such computers over the previous year.

"China's economic momentum should accelerate both before and after the Summer Olympics, and portable PCs will continue to be a hot segment of the market across all countries, especially as the competition for sexy-looking consumer products intensifies," Ma predicted.

In particular, the fourth quarter of 2007 met expectations and saw 18.1 million PCs shipped, posting 1 percent sequential growth as well as 21 percent increase over the same period last year, the IDC survey revealed.

The research house noted that some markets such as India, Malaysia and Vietnam, came in short of forecasts due to tender delays, while portables recovered significantly in Indonesia as products were able to clear customs procedures more easily than before.

The region's top five PC vendors continue to maintain their rankings for the full-year 2007.

Lenovo held on to its "commanding" lead in the total number of PCs shipped in the region, clocking 18.4 percent market share and 27.4 percent annual growth, according to IDC numbers.

Hewlett-Packard's moves in the consumer space paid off, helping to narrow the gap between the U.S.-based company and Lenovo by some two percentage points. HP enjoyed the largest annual growth rate of 52.3 percent, and its regional market share expanded to 13.9 percent.

Dell retained third position with 7.8 percent market share and registered 22 percent annual growth. Trailing in fourth position is Acer with 6.1 percent market share and 37.5 percent year-on-year growth, IDC said. Fifth-placed Founder holds 5.1 percent market share and 14 percent annual growth.

Government project drives Singapore market
The Singapore PC market continued to meet expectations in the fourth quarter of 2007 with 22 percent year-on-year growth, said Reuben Tan, IDC's Asia-Pacific research manager of personal systems research.

"As we move into 2008, consumers will likely drive the Singapore PC market, which will help make up for any potential delays in the government's Standard ICT Operating Environment project."

Kathy Sin, IDC's Asia-Pacific research manager of personal systems research, also gave a positive outlook on Hong Kong's PC market for this year.

"Hong Kong's PC market continued to do well, beating forecasts by 7 percent despite the seasonal [fourth quarter] lull as channel inventory was filled," Sin said. "Healthy economic growth should continue to fuel the market into 2008 with little or no problem."

Lynn Tan is a freelance IT writer based in Singapore.

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