Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Grew 27 Per Cent in First Quarter of 2010

All Regions Experienced Double-Digit Growth Rates

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Worldwide PC shipments totalled 84.3 million units in the first quarter of 2010, a 27.4 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2009, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. These first quarter results have exceeded Gartner's earlier market outlook. Gartner had been expecting first quarter PC shipments to grow 22 per cent.

"The strongerthanexpected growth was led by a robust recovery in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) PC market, which grew 24.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2010," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "All other regions recorded doubledigit growth rates, although the US and Latin America were slightly lower than what we had expected."

"These first quarter results indicate that the professional PC market is gradually picking up, driven by PC replacements in mature markets," Ms Kitagawa said. "With a relatively positive macroeconomic outlook, business demand was more forthcoming. Major PC replacement demand driven by Windows 7 will become more apparent in the second half of 2010 and the beginning of 2011."

HP continued to be the leader in worldwide PC shipments, but its growth was below the worldwide average in the first quarter of 2010. HP faced continued pressure from its Asian rivals that are gaining share. However, HP's strength could be apparent as the professional market rebounds.

Acer had strong shipment growth across all regions. Acer's business model allows it to meet price points that other vendors find difficult to match. Dell achieved yearonyear growth above 20 per cent for the first time in two years. Dell's growth was attributed to strong international sales.

Lenovo's PC shipments increased 59.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2010. Lenovo's commitment to expand into the consumer segment seems to have brought positive results, although its high dependence on China's market remained unchanged. Asus joined the worldwide top 5 ranking for the first time, sharing the position with Toshiba. Asus had PC shipments increase 114.8 per cent in the first quarter. The company quickly increased market share with its mininotebook launch in 2008, but it has also successfully expanded into the traditional mobile PC market.

In the US, PC shipments totalled 17.4 million units in the first quarter of 2010, a 20.2 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2009. The US market has registered two consecutive quarters of doubledigit shipment growth.

"Although the first quarter is not typically a strong quarter for the consumer market, growth in the consumer segment was strong. We are expecting about 30 per cent growth in the US consumer PC market in the first quarter of 2010. The positive economic outlook and affordable system prices drove US consumers to buy more PCs. These purchases either replaced aging PCs or became additions to buyers' households," Ms Kitagawa said. "In the professional segment we are seeing gradual signs of improvement, and we are expecting about 10 per cent growth in the professional market in the first quarter."

HP maintained the top position in the US market, but its growth was below the market average. Dell retained the No. 2 position in the US market, but continued to face challenges in the consumer market. Toshiba's shipments grew 50 per cent in the US market, as it became more competitive with pricing and promotions. Toshiba also did well in the value segment of notebooks. Apple created major attention with its media tablet, the iPad, which launched in April. The hype around the iPad added positive sentiment to the company's PC shipments. Early estimates showed that Apple grew 34 per cent in the US market.

In the first quarter of 2010, PC shipments in EMEA totalled 27.1 million units, a 24.8 per cent increase from the first quarter last year.

"The EMEA PC market exhibited doubledigit growth in the first quarter of 2010 and saw the biggest shipment volume on record for the first quarter of a year, which indicates an earlierthanexpected return to solid growth in this market," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner. "However, we need to recognise that this is growth from a low base, as the first quarter of 2009 saw the market's worst decline since 2001. Nevertheless, 2010 will undoubtedly offer vendors more opportunities than 2009 did."

In Western Europe, the markets of the UK, France and Germany all performed strongly. There were also signs of recovery in Central and Eastern Europe, with the Russian market showing an earlierthanexpected revival, despite the continued poor economic environment. The combined Middle East and Africa region also performed better than expected.

The encouraging performance of the EMEA PC market was fostered by very strong demand from the consumer sector, largely for mobile PCs. Mininotebook PCs retained a significant share of mobile PC shipments.

"The professional PC market has begun to show some improvement, driven mainly by small businesses. The future remains positive in this segment as organisations start to replace older PCs and migrate to Windows 7," said Mr Atwal.

Acer gained the No. 1 position in 2009 and retained its lead in the first quarter of 2010, with a 21.3 per cent market share. "Acer had an excellent quarter as a result of very strong demand for mobile PCs and improved deskbased PC growth," said Mr Atwal. Asus moved ahead of Toshiba, nearly doubling its market share from the first quarter of 2009 as a result of strong shipments of mininotebooks. Vendors outside the top five continued to drive the market's growth, with Sony, Lenovo and Apple all posting increases above the market average.

In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 26.5 million units, a 36.9 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2009. PC shipments in China grew 45.4 per cent; this growth was led by consumer PC demand due to the Chinese New Year holidays, when promotions and students' winter holidays stimulated purchases, especially of mobile PCs.

The PC market in Latin America grew 35.4 per cent, with shipments reaching 7.2 million units in the first quarter of 2010. Brazil has a large volume of local shipments because of high tariffs imposed on imported PCs. Consequently, growth in Latin America largely depends on these vendors.

In Japan, PC shipments totalled 4.3 million units in the first quarter of 2010, a 14.7 per cent increase from the same period last year. Two major growth drivers are the continuous demand in the education market and introductions of new products in the consumer market.

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing productplanning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe. Additional research can be found on Gartner's Computing Hardware section on Gartner's web site at
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