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PCs Up 27% in Q1, Saith Gartner

Backs Intel’s testimony that the corporate PC market is gradually picking up

Intel Session at Cloud Expo

Worldwide PC shipments were up 27.4% year-over-year in Q1 to 84.3 million units, Gartner says, exceeding its 22% forecast. IDC puts the surge at 24% based on 79.1 million units. Either way it explains Intel's sterling financial results Tuesday.

Gartner gives a lot of the credit to EMEA, up 24.8% to 27.1 million units, the biggest first-quarter volume on record, heavy on mobile consumer market demand.

The researcher said, "All other regions recorded double-digit growth rates, although the U.S. and Latin America were slightly lower than what we had expected."

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Gartner backs Intel's testimony that the corporate PC market is gradually picking up, driven by PC replacements in mature markets and like Intel crossing its fingers expects major replacement demand driven by Windows 7 in the second half of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, provided the sky doesn't fall again. In EMEA, it notes business demand is coming from small businesses rather than large, but "the pipeline is positive with large tenders for major hardware refreshes coinciding with Windows 7 deployments."

HP is still the leader with 18.2%, but according to Gartner's data its growth was below the worldwide average because of pressure from Asian rivals that are gaining share. Acer (number two with 14.2%) had strong shipment growth across all regions and its business model lets it meet price points other vendors find difficult to match. Gartner, however, figures those firms won't have HP's in with the enterprise when the replacement cycle really kicks in. Dell (number three with 12.1%) managed year-over- year growth above 20% for the first time in two years, a feat attributed to strong international sales.

Lenovo's shipments, still highly dependent on China, were up 59.2% to 8.3% of the global market. ASUS, the netbook pioneer, muscled into the top five companies worldwide for the first time with a 5.5% share, same as Toshiba. ASUS' shipments were up 114.8% by Gartner's tally to 4.65 million units.

PC shipments in the U.S. were good for 17.4 million units, up 20.2%. That means two consecutive quarters of double-digit shipment growth.

Gartner figures there might have been 10% growth on the corporate side and 30% growth on the consumer side despite the fact that Q1 is not typically a strong consumer quarter.

HP is still top position in the U.S. market with 25%, but again its growth was below the market average. Dell retained the No. 2 position at 23.4%, but continued to face challenges in the consumer market, Gartner said. It sold 4 million.

Acer pulled down 15.6% of the U.S. market on shipments of 2.73 million. Toshiba's shipments were up 50% on more competitive pricing and promotions and it did well in the value notebook segment. It took 8.6% of the American market.

Gartner reckons that the hype about the iPad created a halo effect around Apple and that early estimates indicate its U.S. shipments were up 34%, good for 8% of the market.

In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 26.5 million units, up 36.9%. China was up 45.4%. Japan took 4.3 million units, up 14.7%.

Latin America was up 35.4% to 7.2 million units.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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