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New Zealand PC market contracts; HP tops sales charts

It's no blue screen of death, but the local PC market is running a little slow. Sales declined 4.7% during the third quarter, IDC says.

The market researcher has also slashed its worldwide forecast for 2009, now expecting a 5.3% drop – which would make it the PC market's worst year since the tech-wreck/millennium bug upgrade hangover of 2002.

In preliminary third quarter New Zealand figures shared with NBR, laptops managed marginal growth of 1.9% over the second quarter, with 94,200 units shipped, but the desktop category fell off a cliff, declining 11% to 74,989 units. Server shipments fell 14% for the quarter to 6731.

IDC NZ analyst Stefan Nordbruch primarily blames the recession but says uncertainty has been amplified by the falling dollar, which has started to push up PC prices.

Ultramobile notebooks or "netbooks" were the hit product of the third quarter Mr Nordbruch says (see "Portable power for $799"), gaining a firm position with mass merchants thanks to their sub-$1000 price point. However, the jury is still out on whether customers will find netbooks useable enough in the long term, says Mr Nordbruch.

In New Zealand HP continued to top IDCs charts, selling the most PCs, notebooks and servers during Q3.

Third quarter New Zealand PC sales


1. HP
2. Dell
3. Acer
4. Apple
5. Lenovo

1. HP
2. Toshiba
3. Acer
4. Dell
5. Apple

1. HP
2. IBM
3. Dell
4. Acer
5. Sun

Worldwide slowdown for 2009
IDC has cut its outlook for 2009, with worldwide PC shipments to grow, by unit just 3.8%. Previously IDC had predicted from 13.7% growth.

The market researcher says the value of PCs shipped will drop 5.3% due to lower selling prices per PC.

IDC has also cut its worldwide PC shipment forecast for 2008, now predicting growth of 12.4%, compared to its original estimate of 15.2%.

“As the economic crisis continues to evolve - constraining GDP, consumer and commercial confidence, capital and credit availability and creating other challenges - demand for personal computers is expected to slow quickly,” IDC says.

More by By Chris Keall