APAC PC market contraction slowed in 2014

The PC market in the Asia-Pacific region continued to contract during 2014, but not as dramatically as it did in 2013, according to market analysis firm IDC.

Last year saw the PC market in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region contract by 6.3 percent, a slowdown from the previous year's fall of 10.3 percent for the market, according to analysis firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

While the PC market's fall in the region has slowed by a few percentage points, the overall volume of units shifted during 2014 -- 101 million -- is well below the 2013 tally of 108 million units, a result impacted by sluggishness in large emerging markets in the region.

By the fourth quarter of 2014, however, the APAC PC market had levelled out compared to Q4 2013, with the three-month total reaching 25.9 million units.

As in 2013, Chinese manufacturer Lenovo once again led the APAC PC field, increasing its market share to 26.5 percent, up from the previous year's 24.9 percent -- despite its year-on-year unit growth entering negative territory, recording a 0.4 percent drop in overall shipments.

According to IDC, Lenovo's market standing was bolstered by its home market, China, and fuelled by aggressive prices in markets such as Indonesia.

Trailing Lenovo was Dell, claiming 10.9 percent of the market, and the only vendor in the top five to grow its shipments annually. It was closely followed by HP, which fell into third place in 2014.

(Image: IDC)

Although Apple has not reached IDC's top five PC vendor list for the Asia-Pacific region, IDC Asia-Pacific research manager for client devices research Handoko Andi told ZDNet that it is one of the rare examples in the APAC market that consistently grows its PC volumes despite the region's overall contraction.

"Top PC vendors in [APAC] tend to have deep geography penetration, which Apple has not yet gained, as well as the price that Apple offered to customers are still beyond the mainstream price band," Andi told ZDNet.

As for 2015, Andi predicts that this year will see a further easing of the APAC PC market's contraction.

"The good news is that 2015 should not contract as much as last year," said Andi. "While high retail channel inventory and uncertain economic conditions will still bear down on China, upcoming commercial sector activity should help offset that somewhat.

"India should still have post-elections momentum, and yet another large education tender. Indonesia should similarly have post-elections momentum, although high inflation and currency fluctuations are downside risks," he said.

IDC's 2014 APAC PC market figures come as fellow analysis firm Gartner revealed that the fourth quarter of 2014 saw record growth in the United States PC market.

Gartner reported last week that the worldwide PC industry grew by roughly 1 percent year over year during the fourth quarter of 2014, with 83.7 million units shipped. IDC estimates a year-on-year decline of 2.4 percent, with 80.8 million units shipped.