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Gartner Says Worldwide PC Market Grew 15 Percent in Third Quarter of 2008 on Strength of Mini-Notebook Shipments; Industry Feeling the Impact of the Economic Crunch

October 14, 2008

Worldwide PC shipments reached 80.6 million units in the third quarter of 2008, a 15 percent increase from the third quarter last year, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.

“The mini-notebook segment experienced strong growth in the global PC, led by robust growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region,” said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner’s Client Computing Markets group. “In the North America market, the economic crunch created more interest in the sub $500 segment. Because the mini-notebook is still a new segment, it is too early to determine if the emerging segment created new market opportunities, or if it cannibalized lower priced systems.”

“At the same time, global PC market finally felt the impact from global economic downturn. The U.S. professional market experienced the biggest hit from the economic crunch. The U.S. home market saw definite softness in PC sales after a few quarters of strong growth,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “The Asia/Pacific PC market was impacted by a slowdown in China. PC growth in Latin America was slow relative to historical levels, but it was still in line with the forecast.”

HP maintained the No. 1 position in worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter of 2008 (see Table 1). The company was impacted by a slower entry into the mini-notebook market, losing the top position in EMEA. Dell’s recent expansion efforts did not equate to increased market share in the third quarter. Dell primarily struggled with the professional market, especially in the EMEA and U.S. markets.

 Table 1 Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q08 (Thousands of Units) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 3Q08 3Q08 Market      3Q07 3Q07 Market   3Q08-3Q07 Company       Shipments   Share (%) Shipments   Share (%)  Growth (%) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Hewlett- Packard       14,784.8        18.4  12,848.7        18.3        15.1 Dell           10,995.1        13.6   9,853.6        14.1        11.6 Acer           10,038.1        12.5   6,812.4         9.7        47.3 Lenovo          5,893.3         7.3   5,449.8         7.8         8.1 Toshiba         3,678.0         4.6   2,922.8         4.2        25.8 Others         35,175.4        43.7  32,162.6        45.9         9.4 Total          80,564.7       100.0  70,049.9       100.0        15.0 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers. Note: Acer data includes Gateway's consumer shipments and Packard Bell shipments. Source: Gartner (October 2008) 

Two vendors that had a strong focus and acted quickly in the mini-notebook segment are ASUS and Acer. Both of these vendors experienced robust growth. Although most major vendors now have their own mini-notebook offerings, Ms. Kitagawa said it will be a challenge for these vendors to match or beat the market expansion that ASUS and Acer have attained so far.

PC shipments in the U.S. market grew 4.6 percent in the third quarter of 2008 from the third quarter of 2007. Early indications suggest that the professional mobile PC market had slower than expected growth while desk-based PC shipments were in line with previous expectations. Mini-notebook shipments accounted for approximately 5 percent of U.S. mobile PC shipments and added approximately 1-2 percentage points of year-over-year growth.

“Despite the back to school sales season, the U.S. home market did not see its typical seasonal spike during the quarter,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “The continued decline of the average selling price (ASP) of PCs did not stimulate sales as much at the vendors had hoped.”

Dell maintained the top position in the U.S. market (see Table 2), but its growth slowed compared to its last several quarters. Dell was impacted by weakness in the professional market, as well as slowdown in the home segment.

Apple maintained the third position. Apple is expected to see steady growth in the education and home segments. Acer’s PC shipment growth was accelerated by mini-notebook shipments in the quarter. These systems have been well received in the U.S. professional and home segments.

 Table 2 Preliminary United States PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q08 (Thousands of Units) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 3Q08 3Q08 Market      3Q07 3Q07 Market  3Q08-3Q07 Company        Shipments   Share (%) Shipments   Share (%) Growth (%) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Dell              5,122.9        29.5   4,833.1        29.1        6.0 Hewlett-Packard   4,452.7        25.7   4,264.1        25.7        4.4 Apple             1,644.9         9.5   1,270.7         7.7       29.4 Acer              1,542.5         8.9   1,387.0         8.4       11.2 Toshiba             979.0         5.6     945.4         5.7        3.6 Others            3,608.3        20.8   3,882.3        23.4       -7.1 Total            17,350.4       100.0  16,582.5       100.0        4.6 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers. Note: Acer data includes Gateway's consumer shipments and Packard Bell shipments. Source: Gartner (October 2008) 

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 28.8 million units in the third quarter of 2008, a 25.9 percent increase from the third quarter last year. The EMEA PC market performance was largely dictated by vendors that shipped mini-notebooks and those that did not, resulting in significant movements in the EMEA top 5 vendor positions. For the first time ever since HP merged with Compaq, it lost its No. 1 position in the EMEA PC market to Acer. Acer bolstered its shipment numbers with a significant number of shipments into the teleco retail channel across Western Europe. Acer accounted for 20.6 percent of shipments in the region, and HP accounted for 18.7 percent of shipments in the third quarter of 2008.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific grew 13.3 percent in the third quarter, with PC units totaling 21.6 million. Mobile PCs continue to be the driver of consumption while consumer desk-based PC demand faces challenges in the region. Mobile PC shipments increased 43.6 percent compared to the third quarter last year, while desk-based PCs grew 0.8 percent year-over-year.

Latin America PC shipments reached 7.3 million units in the third quarter, a 13.2 percent increase from the third quarter last year. Fueling the notion that mobile PCs are becoming the first PC for a growing number of homes and the preferred platform for some businesses, mobile PC shipments accounted for approximately 28 percent of overall shipments, compared to 21 percent in the third quarter of 2007.

In Japan, PC shipments totaled 3.7 million units, an 9.2 percent increase from the third quarter last year. The consumer market performed better than expected. The professional sector is expected to post low single-digit growth, but early results show the consumer segment could show double-digit increases.

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 product planning, 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 http://www.gartner.com/it/products/research/asset_129157_2395.jsp.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the indispensable partner to 60,000 clients in 10,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,000 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in 80 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.




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