IDC: Asia's PC market continues growth path

The research firm estimates that 40 million PCs will be shipped in the Asia-Pacific region this year, with the notebook segment expected to grow by a staggering 35.7 percent.

The Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market is expected to grow 14.8 percent to clock 40 million in unit shipment this year, following a strong performance in the second quarter.

According to a new IDC report, this market will continue its growth path to achieve a 12.2 percent growth rate in 2006, reaching 44.9 million in unit shipment.

The research firm also expects the notebook sector to be the sweet spot, growing by a staggering 35.7 percent in 2005, compared to 10.2 percent for desktops.

"Notebooks were on fire this past quarter with the spread of low prices, and increased awareness in mature and developing countries alike," said Bryan Ma, associate director of personal systems research, IDC Asia-Pacific.

China and India will also continue to be "huge engines of growth" in the overall PC market, including desktops, through the forecast period, he added.

China will continue to play a key role, representing 45.7 percent of the total PC units expected to ship in 2005, according to IDC.

India, the region's second largest market, is projected to achieve the strongest growth rates at 30.1 percent and 25.6 percent in 2005 and 2006, respectively. This growth will be largely driven by the strength of the Indian economy, and increasing buyer demand from recent duty drops.

But Ma noted that the growth potential in emerging markets such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, should not be overlooked.

Andrew Wong, IDC's Asia-Pacific research manager, explained that while the PC markets in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are small at the moment, they represent burgeoning opportunities in the region, particularly in the business and public sectors.

"All of these markets are highly fragmented, with a few strong local vendors and a large assembler/whitebox market," he said. "This represents an opportune time for multinational vendors to respond competitively in order to try to achieve increased penetration in these markets."

For markets such as Australia, Hong Kong and Korea, IDC expects their growth to be conservative. This is largely due to market maturity.

The currency revaluations in China and Malaysia could also theoretically slow the region’s economy down, but IDC expects little or no impact to the PC markets as the floats are contained within a limited band.