This represents an 8 percent jump in PC shipments, according to preliminary results released by the International Data Corp (IDC) today.
"Even though there is a global economic downturn, PC demand within Asia is still very strong," IDC Asia Pacific associate director (personal systems research) Kitty Fok said in a telephone interview. "This is due to lower PC penetration rates in developing countries like China and India," she added.
Fok noted that while the region saw growth in PC shipments in the second quarter, the US experienced a decline in PC shipments for the same period. PC shipments in the US fell to 10.5 million units in the second quarter this year, compared with 11. 4 million in the same period last year, she said.
However, Fok admitted that the 8 percent growth in the second quarter year-on-year in Asia Pacific was "not as high as what we predicted". Without revealing specifics, she said the research house had predicted "double-digit" growth for PC shipments in the region.
The Hong Kong-based analyst could not provide figures for revenues generated from PC shipments in the second quarter this year.
Despite a good showing year-on-year in the second quarter, there was a flat sequential result for PC shipments from the first quarter of this year, which also saw about 5.19 million units.
"The worsening external conditions took their toll on the region’s economies as many companies and consumers alike adopted a 'wait and see' approach to PC procurement," IDC noted in a statement. "Some markets were dealt an additional blow of weakening currencies, further dragging down PC sales."
IDC research manager (personal systems) Davina Yeo said in the statement that there was little impetus to upgrade or buy a new PC in the second quarter, and that the global weakness was dragging on longer than expected, making everyone "more cautious in their spending".
China’s Legend Holdings strengthened its lead in the overall PC market, with about 627,000 units shipments in the second quarter of this year compared with about 434,000 units in the corresponding period last year.
"Legend is still strong in China, which is one of the major markets in the region," Fok observed. "It has a good reputation and good channel partners in China," she added.
Fok observed that Legend’s pricing is competitive as compared with that of multi-national companies in China. Its market share edged up slightly to 12.1 percent, IDC said in the statement.
IBM came in runner-up in terms of PC shipments in the second quarter, with about 387,000 units, while Compaq overtook Samsung for third spot with 373,000 units (see Table 2 below).
"Compaq’s re-entry to Harvey Norman in Australia was a welcome boost for the vendor," IDC said.
Dell, which continued to gain ground in China and Australia, overtook Hewlett-Packard for the fourth spot with 240,000 units of PC shipments in the second quarter of this year. On the other hand, HP saw PC shipments falling by about 22 percent in the second quarter this year, compared with the quarter before.
China led the way in PC shipments in the region, with about 2.1 million units in Q2, compared with about 1.65 million units in the same period last year (see Table 1).
IDC noted that mature markets such as Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea showed second quarter year-on-year declines in PC shipments due to high penetration levels, and little reason to upgrade existing hardware.
Asean countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines continued to be marred by political and social issues, putting IT investment on a backburner, IDC said.
PC shipments outlook
Looking ahead, Fok expects a slight pick up in PC shipments from June 2001 onwards because of summer sales and vendors starting to run promotion programs (bundling and price drops) in the third quarter.
"Also, when Windows XP is launched sometime in the third quarter, this would help some of the PC sales, as people will look to replace their PCs for XP," she observed.
Fok declined to provide a forecast for PC shipments by yearend in the region, but said that based on first quarter numbers, IDC had predicted that PC shipments would hit 23.8 million units by yearend.
Meanwhile Yeo said that while 2001 would be a difficult year for all, particularly small players who "do not have the muscle to fight it out in the price war", IDC foresees strong PC buying patterns resuming early next year.
Table 1: Asia Pacific PC shipments (‘000 units) by country , Q2 2001
|Country||Q2 '01 Units||Q1 '01 Units||Q2 '00 Units||Q2 '01/Q1 '01 (%)||Q2 '01/Q2 '00 (%)|
Table 2: Asia Pacific PC shipments (‘000 units) by vendor, Q2 2001
|Vendor||Q2 '01||Q1 '01||Q2 '00||Q2