updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed April 16, 2008
IDC on PCs Q1 2008
PC shipments in the first quarter of 2008 reveal a changing landscape both in the US and in the world at large, according to preliminary results released today by IDC. While positions remain largely the same, shifts in growth percentages reveal that some companies are gaining at the expense of others. Dell in particular has recovered from its long slump in 2007 and has had a second consecutive quarter of strong shipments, leading US charts with 30.9 percent of the country's computer market (4.9 million units) and a 15.6 percent boost to shipments over the same period a year before.
Apple is expected to come in at fourth place and ship 950,000 Macs to Americans during the timeframe, earning itself an increase from 5.7 percent in the prior quarter to 6 percent. The increase is a 25.1 percent jump over sales in early 2007 and also represents more than a full percentage point increase in marketshare from year to year.
More telling are results for other PC makers, according to the findings. Previous growth champion Hewlett-Packard has encountered virtually flat growth, adding just 0.3 percent shipments year-over-year in the US and claiming 24.3 percent of the market. Toshiba also cooled in the period and grew just 6.1 percent to hold 5.2 percent of the market.
Acer's acquisition of Gateway last year may also be masking poor results: while Acer by itself took third place by shipping 92.9 percent more PCs in early 2008 as a result of the merger, the 1.4 million PCs delivered actually represents a 20.2 percent drop over what both companies were selling individually last year, IDC observes.
World marketshare largely remains static, with HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba occupying first through fifth place respectively. However, while HP claims the lead, it showed the smallest growth of all the vendors at 17.4 percent, with Dell outpacing it at 21.6 percent and the combined Acer/Gateway growing by 31 percent thanks to non-US shipments. Apple is not mentioned in the charts but is understood to sit in the 3 percent range.
The overall picture confirms mixed results for the world, IDC analyst Doug Bell says. World shipments are "strong" but have been impacted by the poor US economy, which is leading fewer US customers to buy systems compared to developing nations where many are buying PCs for the first time. US share relative to the rest of the world fell 2 percent. However, the researcher consoles US-focused investors by noting that the market itself still grew 3.5 percent from year to year despite the conditions.
Shipments were "essentially driven by the sustained shift to mobility," Bell explains, also adding that Dell's involvement at retail and improved product mix helped the US as a whole.
IDC largely dismisses the effect of Microsoft's anticipated Service Pack 1 update for Windows Vista, noting that it may help businesses in the long term by assuaging concerns over stability but that the market is more likely to be driven by less expensive and more portable PCs.