IDC: Consumer notebooks and education PC spending buoys PC market

Desktop and notebook spending surges during Q4

New PC market figures from IDC show strong consumer notebook sales and education spending in the desktop space made the last quarter of 2007 the strongest PC quarter of the year.

The overall PC hardware market in Q4 grew by 18.6 per cent year-on-year, PC hardware analyst, Liam Gunson, said.

"Notebook prices have come down to fairly low points - at around $699 - and vendors were offering $100 cash backs. We have also started seeing more consumer PC purchasing occurring after the Christmas spending period," he said. "We also saw strength come back into the commercial desktop market, which is where areas such as education continued to perform well."

Gunson said PC hardware unit shipments grew by 12 per cent during 2007 over 2006.

"This was helped a lot by strong growth in the economy - the GDP was a lot stronger in 2007 than in 2006," he said.

Notebooks experienced the strongest growth, but there had been some significant desktop PC take-up during Q4, according to Gunson.

"Education spending helped lift the desktop market. We also saw a demand in SMB for desktops, which was a bit stronger than expected because we had seen a strong migration to notebooks previously," he said.

Strong education sales saw Apple as one of the biggest movers and shakers, securing sixth spot with 6.3 per cent market share. HP retained pole position with 21.6 per cent marketshare, up from 20.3 per cent in Q3. Dell had 16 per cent, followed by Acer with 12.8 per cent.

Gunson said 2008 would be an interesting year for the PC hardware space as global economic issues, such as the credit crunch and increased interest rates, began influencing business and consumer spending.

"There are still factors out there keeping consumer spending going like low unemployment," he said. "On the flip side, looking at the commercial market, there is some potential extra spending coming in from the education space, with the government promising to spend about $1 billion on IT in schools."

Top PC hardware vendors for Q4 2007

  • HP - 21.6 per cent
  • Dell -16.0 per cent
  • Acer - 12.8 per cent
  • Toshiba - 7.5 per cent
  • Lenovo - 7.5 per cent
  • Apple - 6.3 per cent Source: IDC

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Julia Talevski
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