The Australian PC market ended on a high note for 2003, recording a 16.2 percent year-on-year growth over 2002, according to tech analysts, the Gartner Group. Quarterly comparisons were also positive, with the fourth quarter results up 3 percent from the third quarter.
Andy Woo, an analyst from Gartner's Hardware and Systems Group, attributes the growth to consistent replacement rates amongst enterprises and an increasing uptake of mobile PCs as the alternative platform for professionals and private users.
"The growth rate is even more impressive given the maturity of the Australian market and all the externalities that have happened in 2003 such as SARS and the unrest in the Middle East," adds Woo.
However Woo says that 2004 will be a challenging year for the PC market, with Gartner predicting that replacement rates will start to slide off in the enterprise space and interest rates will rise, causing an eventual deceleration in the consumer space.
-Australia had enjoyed two strong years of double digit growth in 2002 (11.2 percent) and last year. The big question is whether the market maintains this strong momentum moving into 2004," said Woo.
Mobile PCs ended the year with a growth of 35.2 percent compared to 2002, a trend that Woo says will continue in 2004.
"The mobile story is becoming more compelling for end users than ever before both from a price point and performance perspective," added Woo.
Vendor positioning remained relatively unchanged, with HP remaining as leader with 16.6 percent of market share, followed by Dell with 10.2 percent. IBM ended third overall, with its mobile PC business accounting for 7 percent market share.
In the wider Asia Pacific, PC shipments increased by 9.5 percent from the previous year, totalling 29.7 million units in 2003.
Deskbased PC shipments accounted for 82 per cent of the overall Asia Pacific PC figure, down 3 percentage points from Y2002. Mobile PCs were up 3 percentage points from 2002, to 16 percent of the total number shipped PCs.
In the South Korean, Hong Kong and Singapore markets, growth of mobile PCs continued to be strong.
IBM is now the number one vendor in this market's mobile PC category with 15.7 percent of the market share, out placing Hewlett Packard, which was demoted to second place in 2003.