Gartner Says In the Fourth Quarter of 2008 the PC Industry Suffered Its Worst Shipment Growth Rate Since 2002

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the fourth quarter of 2008, the worldwide PC industry suffered its worst growth rate since 2002 as worldwide shipments totaled 78.1 million units, a 1.1 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2007, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.

“The fourth quarter started out with a relatively optimistic view, but then it got worse every month”

“The United States experienced steeper than expected shipment declines due to the recession. The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region was also affected by the economic slow down across key countries,” said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner's Client Computing Markets group. “Asia/Pacific recorded the worst shipment growth since Gartner started its PC statistics research. Latin America met expectations, but its growth was much lower than in the past.”

The growth driver for the 2008 holiday PC season was the mini-notebook segment. With more vendors offering creative sales promotions, the mini-notebook segment outpaced overall mobile PC growth. However, PC revenue experienced a record decline. Steep average selling price (ASP) declines, as well as robust growth of low-priced systems, including mini-notebooks, contributed to this drop.

Hewlett-Packard managed to grow above the worldwide average in the fourth quarter of 2008 (see Table 1), however its year-on-year growth was its lowest since its merger with Compaq in 2003. HP did well in EMEA by aggressively promoting the mini-notebook segment, but it was impacted by sales in the U.S. market.

Table 1

         

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q08 (Thousands of Units)


Company
 

4Q08

Shipments

 

4Q08 Market

Share (%)

 

4Q07

Shipments

 

4Q07 Market

Share (%)

 

4Q08-4Q07

Growth (%)

Hewlett-Packard 14,915.4 19.1 14,405.0 18.7 3.5
Dell Inc. 10,319.7 13.2 10,971.7 14.2 -5.9
Acer 9,637.3 12.3 7,351.3 9.5 31.1
Lenovo 5,549.2 7.1 5,808.4 7.5 -4.5
Toshiba 3,654.9 4.7 3,026.9 3.9 20.7
Others 34,006.4 43.6 35,632.7 46.2 -4.6
Total   78,082.9   100.0   77,195.9   100.0   1.1

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.

Source: Gartner (January 2009)

Dell showed strong growth in Asia/Pacific, but it struggled to increase shipment volume in North America and EMEA in the fourth quarter of 2008. Acer continued to show exceptional growth with worldwide PC shipments growing 31.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. Acer’s sales were driven by low priced PCs such as mini-notebooks. Lenovo maintained the fourth position in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, but it suffered a shipment decline for the first time since 2006.

In the U.S., the PC market in the fourth quarter of 2008 had its worst shipment decline since the last U.S. recession in 2001. PC shipments in the U.S. declined 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

“The fourth quarter started out with a relatively optimistic view, but then it got worse every month,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “In the fourth quarter, U.S. businesses quickly cut IT spending with public sectors, including some government and education buyers, postponed PC procurement due to budget crisis concerns. PC vendors focused on the professional market were especially hit by the weakening market conditions. Overall, consumer mobile PC shipments showed strength, but the shipment growth was boosted by steep ASP declines which were further accelerated by the popularity of mini-notebooks.”

Dell maintained the No. 1 position in the U.S. PC market in the fourth quarter of 2008 (see Table 2), but its shipments declined 16.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007. Dell was impacted by a very weak professional market.

HP’s shipments in the U.S. market declined 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter, while Acer’s shipments increased 55 percent. As in the global market, Acer’s success was attributed to its offerings in the mini-notebook space.

Table 2

Preliminary United States PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q08 (Thousands of Units)


Company
 

4Q08

Shipments

 

4Q08 Market

Share (%)

 

4Q07

Shipments

 

4Q07 Market

Share (%)

 

4Q08-4Q07

Growth (%)

Dell Inc.   4,465.8   28.6   5,344.6   30.8   -16.4
Hewlett-Packard 4,288.3 27.5 4,439.5 25.6 -3.4
Acer 2,373.9 15.2 1,527.3 8.8 55.4
Apple 1,255.0 8.0 1,159.3 6.7 8.3
Toshiba 1,007.7 6.5 900.0 5.2 12.0
Others 2,219.2 14.2 3,992.6 23.0 -44.4
Total   15,609.8   100.0   17,363.3   100.0   -10.1

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.

Source: Gartner (January 2009)

In the fourth quarter of 2008, PC shipments in EMEA totaled 30.4 million units, a 4.9 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2007. This region had not seen growth rates drop to this level since the 2000/2001 period. The slowdown impacted all countries and segments. The consumer market was the least affected, with mobile PC growth in the high double-digits. However, much of this was due to the continued rollout of mini-notebooks.

In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments grew 1.8 percent with volume reaching 19.5 million units in the fourth quarter. The China and India PC markets accounted for approximately 65 percent of the market in Asia/Pacific in the fourth quarter, and these countries were impacted by a slow consumer market. PC shipments in China grew an estimated 0.8 percent, and 2.2 percent in India.

The PC market in Latin America grew 10 percent with shipments surpassing 7.2 million units in the fourth quarter. The general devaluation of local Latin American currencies is impacting foreign PC vendors as their systems are more expensive.

PC shipments in Japan grew 7 percent with shipments reaching 3.5 million units in the fourth quarter. The country was impacted by lower corporate demand and fewer shipments of spring consumer models that were launched in late December.

For the year, worldwide PC shipments totaled 302.2 million units in 2008, a 10.9 percent increase from 2007 (see Table 3). The top 5 ranking remained unchanged compared to 2007. Dell recovered from its restructuring process in 2008, showing a slightly higher growth rate compared to the worldwide average. Lenovo continued to struggle outside of China’s market. Its attempt to enter the consumer markets was not successful in 2008. Toshiba grew faster than the worldwide average by heavily targeting the consumer market.

Table 3

         

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2008 (Thousands of Units)


Company
 

2008

Shipments

 

2008 Market

Share (%)

 

2007

Shipments

 

2007 Market

Share (%)

 

2008-2007

Growth (%)

Hewlett-Packard 55,686.8 18.4 49,428.3 18.1 12.7
Dell Inc. 43,144.4 14.3 38,703.0 14.2 11.5
Acer 33,497.4 11.1 26,484.5 9.7 26.5
Lenovo 21,869.1 7.2 20,114.6 7.4 8.7
Toshiba 13,499.6 4.5 10,955.2 4.0 23.2
Others 134,510.2 44.5 126,766.9 46.5 6.1
Total   302,207.5   100.0   272,452.5   100.0   10.9

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.

Source: Gartner (January 2009)

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe. Additional research can be found on Gartner's Computing Hardware section on Gartner's Web site at http://www.gartner.com/it/products/research/asset_129157_2395.jsp.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the indispensable partner to 60,000 clients in 10,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,000 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in 80 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Contacts

Gartner
Christy Pettey, 408-468-8312
christy.pettey@gartner.com

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