Increased consumer spending, replacement of computers running Windows XP, and growth in the education sector helped to deliver a 22 percent surge in PC shipments within the New Zealand market for the first quarter of 2014, according to IT research company, IDC.
IDC's latest quarterly PC Tracker findings show that 175,800 units were shipped in New Zealand for the quarter, with increased consumer spending and the replacement of PCs running Windows XP as two of the primary growth triggers.
According to IDC analyst, Arunachalam Muthiah, PC sale growth was seen in both enterprise and personal markets, with the country's healthy economic climate helping to prop up sales, along with rising Chromebook popularity.
"The annual rise of the PC market was witnessed in both the consumer and commercial segments," said Muthiah. "Consumers opened their wallets for PC purchases on the back of an improving economic scenario as consumer confidence trended upwards and unemployment rate experienced steady declines.
"The commercial segment observed refreshes in the enterprise, government, and education sectors, whilst major PC brands offered special discounts and incentives to channel partners to further aid growth. Increased demand for Chromebooks from educational institutions also propelled shipments," he said.
IDC anticipates the NZ PC market will see a six percent increase year-over-year in 2014, largely due to an expanding domestic economy. However, beyond 2014 the market is expected to decline due to competition from devices such as tablets and smartphones.
HP held its PC lead in NZ for the quarter, occupying 37 percent of the market. Acer came in second with around 18 percent, and Apple claimed 13 percent. The fourth and fifth places were occupied by Dell and Toshiba respectively.
IDC also revealed today that the PC in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), including Turkey, is set to see its first quarter of growth this year after seven consecutive quarters of year-on-year declines.
According to IDC's latest forecasts, the MEA region is likely to see a growth of 3.2 percent for the second quarter of this year, a marked change from the first quarter results, which showed a year-on-year tumble of 8.3 percent to 4.8 million units.
"Demand in the regional PC market continues to suffer as end users maintain their shift toward tablets and smartphones," said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, a research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
"However, aggressive pricing strategies, an increasing focus from PC vendors on introducing innovative new form factors, and signs of recovery from the political instability that plagued certain parts of the region have all combined to soften the pace of decline in the PC market," he said.
According to IDC, emerging products such as all-in-ones in the desktop category and convertible notebooks and ultraslim notebooks in the portable PC space continue to gain momentum, although this is largely at the expense of demand for the traditional desktop and notebook form factors.
Meanwhile, mini-notebooks have lost the interest of consumers in the region after being active in the computing industry for almost seven years, with no units shipped during Q1 2014.
Once again, in the region, HP maintained its lead after posting year-on-year growth of 14.9 percent — thanks to its stronghold in both the commercial and consumer segments and its significantly stronger share in the African PC market.
Second-placed Lenovo achieved rapid growth of 55.4 percent year-on-year, courtesy of its strong performance in the consumer segment, while Dell, Toshiba, and Acer posted declines of 4.5 percent, 11.6 percent, and 10.5 percent respectively.