PC market bucks seasonal trends

Two local PC assemblers are mixing it with the big boys, according to the latest figures released by market analysts at IDC.

ASX-listed Optima was credited with a 4.1 per cent share of the Australian PC market for the first calendar quarter of 2003, with Ipex also registering a healthy 2.3 per cent.

Optima’s managing director, Cornel Ung, said its figures had been given a healthy boost by the shipment of 22,000 PCs to the Department of Defence in the first four months of the year.

“In this quarter our figures will be similar or maybe even a little better because we have won a major contract with Queensland Education,” he said. “We won a 70 per cent share in that business and will complete the delivery of 9000 PCs by the end of the month.”

Ung predicted growth of 40 per cent for Optima in the financial year ending June 2004.

He claimed Optima had a good chance of securing a contract with Victoria Education and was also confident of winning significant Federal Government business in the coming year after opening a regional office in Canberra.

The PC market fared well as a whole: unit sales reaching 612,100 for Q1. This represented an increase of 5.8 per cent from the previous quarter and 20.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2002. Notebooks were the star performers, rising 14.7 per cent rise for the last three months of 2002.

Ung said Optima was selling upto 2000 notebooks a month since launching its new Centoris model in February.

He said the appointment of a notebook distributor was imminent.

Toshiba jumped to third spot in the overall PC vendor ratings with a 6.3 per cent share, while Dell lost ground on market leader HP as it fell almost three points to 10.5 per cent. IBM and Acer took fourth and fifth spots respectively.

IDC research director, Joel Martin, picked out mobility as the hot topic for 2003.

He cited price reductions, improved performance, longer battery life and integrated wireless local area networks as key sales drivers.

With desktop replacements beginning, mobility increasing and prices falling, IDC predicted an increase in shipments but stable revenues for PC vendors for the remainder of 2003.

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