Global PC shipments grew 18 per cent in Q2

Shipment growth of personal computers in Europe and the US was stagnate in the second quarter compared to other regions, according to market research figures released Monday.

Global PC shipment growth was 18 per cent, according to Dataquest, a division of Gartner Group, and 14.5 per cent according to IDC. Both market researchers released preliminary second-quarter shipment figures on Monday. Worldwide, PC makers shipped 30.1 million desktop and mobile PCs and PC servers in the quarter, said IDC, while Dataquest set the figure at 31.5 million.

The researchers reported somewhat different figures for US shipment growth. Dataquest pegged US growth for PC shipments at 11.5 per cent in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same quarter last year, and IDC reported 7.2 per cent growth. IDC is a subsidiary of IDC, the parent company of the IDG News Service.

Both Dataquest and IDC blamed saturation of the US PC market for the low growth compared to emerging markets in Japan, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, Dataquest said vendors in the US must find ways to persuade end users to replace their PCs more frequently.

The US accounts for 37 per cent of the world PC market, according to Dataquest, adding that saturation will be a continuing challenge to future growth. IDC echoed the sentiment.

"The US consumer market had been on fire for the last year and a half and is showing signs of slowing down," said IDC analyst Bruce Stephen.

In Asia, "there's been a fairly consistent pattern in place for the last year. ... They had a severe downturn a couple of years ago, but they've come out of it rather robustly," he said. "This growth in Asia is driven by consumer demand."

Compaq retained the top spot for global shipments. Both companies said Compaq shipped almost 4 million PCs, for about 13 per cent of the market, Compaq's unit shipments grew about 6 per cent from the same quarter last year, compared to the shipment growth of number-two computer maker Dell, which Dataquest set at 24.6 per cent and IDC put at 22.3 per cent. Dell shipped 3.4 million units according to Dataquest and slightly less, based on IDC figures. Third-ranked Hewlett-Packard registered 34 per cent growth with 2.2 million units shipped.

IBM continued to rank fourth with about 7 per cent of the market, but experienced a 4.1 per cent decline in shipments, evidence of their withdrawal from the US retail channel, according to both market researchers. IBM shipped almost 2.25 million units, according to both research companies.

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