Desktop and notebook shipments in the Asia-Pacific region are back in the black, following two consecutive quarters of decline, market analyst IDC reported Monday.
Between April and June, there were 19.9 million units shipped to the region, an increase of 8 percent over the same period last year. The shipment total also represented a 19 percent quarter-on-quarter growth, IDC said in a statement.
The global economic downturn took a toll on PC sales in the region toward the end of last year, when PC shipments in the region fell 5 percent year-on-year during the fourth quarter of 2008. The downward trend continued into the first quarter of 2009, as the regional PC market shrank by 5 percent again compared to the same period in 2008.
Small businesses in emerging markets are keen to acquire netbooks, according to separate research.
Potential small business netbook buyers exhibit a greater degree of IT sophistication than their counterparts who were not likely to make such purchases, market research consultancy Techaisle said via a statement and blog post. The survey was conducted in 10 countries, which included a mix of both developed and developing economies.
Nearly one in two small businesses that are likely to buy netbooks indicated they use push e-mail. These companies are also more inclined to use technology including databases, Web conferencing and software-as-a-service.
"Netbooks could also be a future device for push e-mail and more," said Techaisle's Paolo Puppoli. "This would require a back office setup that [businesses with] one to 19 employees may not have and other providers will have to step in with a more holistic and vertical solution, thus influencing and changing the vendors' go-to-market models."
Puppoli added: "There is nothing stopping a service provider in selling the devices and push-mailing to a netbook."
While Asia's PC market appears to be out of the woods, the global PC market is still in contraction. Last week, IDC statistics showed that worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter declined 3.1 percent over the same period last year.
There are, however, signs that the upturn is nigh: Dell last week issued a statement saying the PC market has "stabilized" and it expects to report a quarter-on-quarter revenue growth for its second quarter earnings.
According to IDC, portable systems were a major driver of PC shipments in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in Southeast Asia. The analyst house was not able to offer the breakdown of desktop and notebook shipments in the region, as it was still in the midst of compiling the statistics.
"Ongoing consumer interest in portable PCs will continue to be the key moving forward, especially as both low-cost mini-notebooks and new ultra-thin notebooks help to drive the market into next year," Bryan Ma, director of personal systems research at IDC Asia-Pacific, said in the statement.
Commercial sales, he added, were affected by economic conditions, but strong demand in China helped to make up the numbers.
Lenovo held onto its No. 1 position in the region, with a market share of 18.5 percent in the second quarter. But it was second-placed rival Hewlett-Packard (16.2 percent) that stole the thunder, with a year-on-year unit growth of 25.1 percent.
HP's closest competitor in terms of unit growth was Founder at No. 5, which recorded a 12.3 percent growth in shipments over the same period a year ago. Dell, the third-largest vendor in the region with an 8.4 percent share, grew just 0.3 percent over 2008's second quarter. Acer stood at No. 4, with a market share of 7.5 percent and unit growth of 12 percent.