Asian PC market peaked last year, says IDC

The PC market in the Asia-Pacific region achieved record growth rates not seen since the dot-com crash, according to IDC.

Last year marked the strongest growth for the PC market in the past five years in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) region, according to IDC. New research shows that total PC shipments in the region in 2005 reached 41.1 million units, representing an 18 percent growth from 2004.

Bryan Ma, associate director of Asia-Pacific personal systems research at IDC, said that notebooks displayed a "solid" showing, as all the countries in the region recorded double-digit growth rates in shipments in 2005. For desktops, all the countries grew year-on-year except for New Zealand and Taiwan, which shrunk by 10 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Australia, China, India and Korea contributed to most of the region's growth in 2005, IDC said. In China, PC price wars, greater vendor penetration in the upper-tier cities, and stronger IT demand from small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) contributed to the market's growth in 2005.

In India, lower PC prices boosted the market after it emerged from tariff cuts. Meanwhile, low-end PCs and entry-level notebooks helped maintain the momentum in the Korean market. Finally, Australia's notebook market skyrocketed after the first sub-A$1,000 (US$750) notebooks made their appearance in the second quarter.

Lenovo turned out to be the best performer, sealing its pole market position with PC shipments growing 92.2 percent. The company's market share also grew steadily, from 13.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004 to 21.5 percent during the same period last year.

Hewlett-Packard held on to its number 2 spot in the region with a market share of 10.9 percent. Its shipments grew 28.7 percent. Dell, which is the top PC maker worldwide, took the number 3 spot in the Asia-Pacific region, with 8.9 percent market share.

"In no small part due to more affordable prices and a hot notebook market, 2005 was a particularly good year for Asia's PC market, achieving growth rates not seen in the last five years," Ma said.

While the market may not necessarily continue at such record rates due to completed Y2K replacement purchases and the maturation of certain markets, Ma said vendors can still look forward to at least 13 percent growth in 2006. "This is still quite admirable and thus represents a welcome opportunity for the IT industry in the region."