Worldwide PC sales experience their seventh consecutive quarter of flat to single-digit growth, totaling 87.5-million units in the second quarter of 2012, a decline of 0.1% from the second quarter of 2011. Despite this, Taiwanese manufacturer Asus managed to increase its shipments by 38.6% in the second quarter of 2012, capturing seven percent of the market.
ASUS’s strong growth came primarily from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and US markets. Tech research company Gartner reckons that ASUS’ grew on the back of a wide range of products: starting with netbook expansion, then quickly moving to the mid- to high-end notebook market.
According to the research company, economic uncertainties around the world aren’t helping the fact that people are less interested in buying PCs. The expected kick-in-the-butt ultrabooks were supposed to give has also failed to materialise.
“Consumers are less interested in spending on PCs as there are other technology product and services, such as the latest smartphones and media tablets that they are purchasing. This is more of a trend in the mature market as PCs are highly saturated in these markets,” said Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa.
“A big portion of R&D spending has been allocated to Ultrabook development, together with Intel’s massive investments to establish the market segment. Though Ultrabook was at first introduced in the market in 2011, the major promotion kicked off toward the end of 2Q12 with the IvyBridge, based Ultrabook release. This segment is still in an early adopter’s stage.”
Even in emerging markets, which as recently as March were hailed as key to driving worldwide PC growth in both the short and long-term, things aren’t looking good.
In the EMEA region there was only a 1.9% increase in PC shipments during the second quarter of 2011 from the same period last year. The Asia/Pacific region meanwhile only saw two percent growth (bear in mind that it contains a number of developed economies). Even worse though is Latin America, where PC shipments totaled 9.3-million units, a decline of 1.7% from the second quarter of last year.
That decline however is not as bad as it is in developed markets. In the US, for instance, PC shipments totalled 15.9-million units in the second quarter of 2012, a 5.7% decline from the same period in 2011.
“Weakness in the US public market affected the professional segment despite the high PC procurement season in the second quarter,” Kitagawa said. “Both government and education institutions are encountering tight budget situations. Shipments to the public sector are expected to be lower than normal seasonality.”
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