Portables buffer PC market in Asia-Pacific

Strong sales of mini-notebooks helps the sector meet expectations in the first quarter despite fall in total PC shipments in the region, says IDC.
Written by Konrad Foo, Contributor

Despite overall PC sales in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan region falling 5 percent year-on-year in the first-quarter of 2009, portable PC shipments gave the market a strong boost, preliminary research from IDC revealed.

IDC announced Monday, total PC shipments during the quarter came in close to forecast, as portable PCs in key markets such as China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were strong, lifting that segment to a 12 percent year-on-year growth.

In a press statement, Bryan Ma, director of Asia-Pacific personal systems research at IDC, expressed relieve that despite the quarter being "soft", the region's PC market managed to hold up to forecasts, especially given its dismal performance in the previous quarter.

"That does not mean that we are out of the woods yet, though. The economy is still showing mixed signals, and recent political instability in markets like Thailand created further uncertainty. Commercial buying is thus still likely to remain questionable this year, but hopefully consumer portables can help offset that," he cautioned.

According to IDC, the Hong Kong PC market was one of the few in the region with a strong showing in the first quarter. Mini-notebooks, which were a key driver, and channel stock-up ahead of the IT Expo during Easter as well as fulfillments to the government pushed the market to a 19 percent year-on-year growth.

Lenovo, with 16.1 percent market share in the first quarter, continued its lead in the region, despite a 1 percent fall in year-on-year unit growth.

In second place was Hewlett-Packard, which enjoyed 6.4 percent unit growth over the previous year, taking its market share in the region to 14.4 percent.

Based in Singapore, Konrad Foo is an intern with ZDNet Asia.

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