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Worldwide PC shipments fall; netbooks keep going strong

Worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter fell by the largest historic rate in seven years according to iSuppli Corporation

PC shipments in the first quarter of 2009 amounted to 66.5 million units, an 8.1% decline from 72.3 million during the same period in 2008, and a 14.4% drop from 77.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 according to iSuppli.

“The worldwide recession sparked by the credit crisis slammed PC shipments for the second quarter in succession during the first three months of 2009,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for computer platforms research at iSuppli.

“The first-quarter performance of the worldwide PC market was worse than iSuppli had expected in its prior forecast, which called for a 4% decline in shipments compared to the same period in 2008. After a long period of immunity to the global downturn, the economic crisis finally has begun to impact the PC market,” Wilkins added.

The desktop segment was the major victim regarding the PC decline, with first-quarter unit shipments falling by 23% compared to the same period in 2008. Notebook shipments, however, grew 10% compared to the first quarter of 2008.

However, there have been little changes in the rankings of the world’s top five PC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the first quarter compared to the same period one year earlier. Hewlett-Packard remained the top PC OEM for the 11th successive quarter, with its shipments being flat from a year earlier at 13 million units. The company held a market share of 19.7%.

Dell experienced an 18.7% drop in PC unit shipments, declining to 8.8 million in the first quarter, compared to 10.8 million during the same period in the 2008. The company’s market share declined to 13.2%, down from 14.9% in the first quarter of 2008.

The remainder of the top 5 OEMs comprises Asian PC OEMs, Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba, which had market shares of 11.1%, 6.7%, and 5.2% respectively. Toshiba posted the strongest growth among the top five on a percentage basis, with its shipments growing by 13.5% from a year earlier.

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