Japan sees third straight month PC unit shipment growth

Windows 7 launch helps give desktop shipments their first jump in 17 months

Unit shipments of personal computers in Japan registered their third straight month of gains in November based on year-ago levels, an industry association said Thursday.

A total of 673,000 computers were shipped during November, up 4.8 percent from the same month last year, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) said.

Laptop shipments accounted for 470,000 of the machines shipped, up 3 percent on November last year, while desktop shipments totaled 202,000 units, up 9.1 percent and the first rise in desktop PC shipments in 17 months, the organization said.

The launch in late October of the Windows 7 operating system helped boost PC sales and shipments however November's gains were far lower than those seen in October. During that month overall PC shipments jumped 21.5 percent on the year.

The total value of shipments during November was ¥65.7 billion (US$718 million), down 9 percent on November last year. The lower value of shipments indicates the price of PCs continues to fall and the preference of consumers for low-end machines such as netbooks and compact PCs, according to the JEITA figures.

In the first eight months of the Japanese financial year, which begins in April, PC unit shipments are down 3.1 percent at 5.44 million machines while the value of those shipments has dived 19.6 percent to ¥520 billion, said JEITA.

JEITA bases its estimates on data received from 13 major PC manufacturers.

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