July 15, 2010

PC Shipments Jump During Second Quarter

Market research group IDC announced on Wednesday that international shipments of personal computers jumped 22.4 percent in the second quarter as businesses replaced aging computers and consumers continued to show interest in inexpensive laptops.

The growth was only slightly less than IDC predicted because of slightly lower PC shipments in the U.S. and Asia.  IDC analyst Lorean Loverde told The Associated Press (AP) that the group will likely reduce estimates for the current quarter and the rest of the year slightly.  However, he still calls the industry's performance in the quarter "quite good."

IDC says that businesses that stopped buying new technology during the worst of the recession have started replacing PCs.  That contributed to the rise in the quarter.

However, Loverde said that does not mean the industry should expect a dramatic surge in demand for PCs in the coming months.  As PC processors become more powerful, it is not as critical for many businesses to furnish employees with the latest technology.  The analyst said that this leads to more companies hanging on to older computers for a longer period of time.

PC makers shipped 81.5 million computers during the quarter overall.  Hewlett-Packard Co. remained the top computer maker in the world, followed by Dell Inc. and Acer Inc. 

Consumers still purchased low-end laptops and netbooks, which are computers that are less powerful and less expensive.  Loverde said consumer PC buying seems to be slowing in the U.S. as big business spending picks up.

That helped Dell overtake Acer and reclaim the No. 2 spot.  Dell relies on corporations for much of its business, while Acer is more focused on consumers.

PC shipments rose 12.6 percent in the U.S.  HP, Dell and Acer were the top three.  No. 4 Apple Inc. shipped 15.4 percent more of its Mac computers in the quarter, while Toshiba was fifth.

Gartner Inc., another research group that tracks computer shipments by using slightly different methods, said it estimates that the worldwide shipments jumped 20.7 percent in the quarter to 82.9 million.

Acer still shipped more PCs than Dell in the quarter on a worldwide basis, but Dell was No. 2 in the U.S.

Mikako Kitagawa, a Gartner analyst, told AP that netbook shipments grew at about 20 percent in the quarter.

Kitagawa said the netbook market has matured, and some people who might have bought the smaller laptop style devices in the past may have opted for Apple's new iPad tablet instead.


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