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PC markets flat in Q2 2012

Global PC shipments fell 0.1% in second quarter says IDC

PC markets flat in Q2 2012
IDC said PC markets remain flat as channels and consumers wait for new devices in the third quarter.

Global PC market growth was flat in the second quarter of 2012, according to IDC, with shipments falling by 0.1% year-on-year.

The analyst company says that the lack of growth was in part due to low sell-out of distribution channels in the first quarter. Channels are avoiding taking on inventory now, when new product launches are due in the third quarter. The same effect was seen in consumer demand, as buyers wait for new products, particularly Windows 8 PCs, while poor economic circumstances are also affecting the market.

IDC warns that Ultrabooks have not managed to boost the market, as buyers wait for Windows 8 and for prices to fall.

"These latest results validate IDC's expectation that the second quarter would be a transition period where both economic factors and anticipation for new products in the second half of the year would result in relatively low PC shipment growth," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst, Worldwide PC Tracker. "The announcement of a Windows 8 launch date, as well as broader communication of new features in the OS, are key steps that would help to address uncertainty about new product availability and help consumers and channels plan their purchases."

"The U.S. market suffered a double-digit contraction in the second quarter as market saturation and economic factors combine with anticipation of Windows 8 and other changes later in the year. In this context, consumers are delaying purchases, and vendors and retailers are slowing down their PC activities to clear existing inventories. The situation is exacerbated by consumer notebook saturation, a slowing replacement cycle in the commercial sector, and the big macro-economic and political events affecting confidence and spending," said David Daoud, research director, Personal Computing at IDC. "We don't expect PCs using Windows 8 to boost growth significantly until the fourth quarter, which leads to a conservative outlook for the third quarter."

In the EMEA region, PC markets showed some growth, mainly due to sell-in recovery in Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The Middle East and Africa region showed positive trends, but slower than the rest of EMEA.

By vendor, HP leads the market, with 15.5%, although shipments declined across all regions. Lenovo is in second place, with 14.9%, closing the gap with HP by several percent from Q2 2011. Dell held third place, but it also saw declines in shipments, slipping below 10 million units a quarter for the first time since 2Q09. Acer recovered in Europe, to stay in fourth place with 10.4% and ASUS grew strongly to take 7.1% of the market.

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