Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most popular PC vendor of them all? HP, according to the latest data from analyst firm IDC, which yesterday crowned the US giant king of Australia’s PC market, with almost a quarter of machines shipped over the last three months of 2010 in Australia being from HP.
In a statement yesterday, IDC noted that in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010, HP captured some 22 percent of the Australian market for PCs and laptops. That figure was seven percent ahead of number two player Acer at 15 percent, which itself was just one percent ahead of Dell, who took out third place in the quarter with 14 percent.
Mac manufacturer Apple took 11 percent of the market in the period, with IDC market analyst Amy Cheah noting the company managed to generate “a health growth” with the introduction of its new 11″ MacBook Air laptop. Toshiba came in fifth place with 10 percent of the market, with others such as ASUS and Lenovo falling out of the top five.
IDC noted that HP regained its number one position from Acer in the consumer space, with Acer being unable to sustain the momentum it had gained locally in the previous quarter to September.
Most consumer-centric vendors such as Acer, Toshiba and ASUS experienced week consumer uptake and struggled to clear the backlog of stocks in the channels following a strong quarter in Q3,” said Cheah.
In general, IDC noted that the Australian PC market still grew in the last three months of 2010 (14 percent year on year), but faced a number of challenges. For example, the firm noted that natural disasters such as floods took their toll on PC sales, as well as interest rate hikes and delays in the Federal Government’s whole of government purchasing efforts.
“With the flood disasters in Queensland and other parts of Victoria and New South Wales seriously impacting the local coal mining industry, local businesses and consumer sentiment, IDC has called down its Q1 2011 forecast by 6 percent to reflect an expected total shipment of 1.4 million units,” the company wrote. “However, as flood rebuilding accelerates in the second half of the calendar year, the PC market is expected to recover as insurance claims flow through and end users look to replace damaged/lost PCs.”
Other factors slated to affect PC sales in Australia over the next while include the flaw in Intel’s new Sandy Bridge chipset, which has seen many vendors being forced to push back their product refresh plans in 2011.
“Channel partners were also reluctant to take on more faulty systems and would rather wait till the fixed chipsets arrive as doubtful end users put off spending in fear of long term complications,” said Cheah. “Nonetheless, Intel’s quick turnaround time will be a relief to all as the fixed chipsets are expected to arrive in time for the June tax rush period before the end of financial year.”
And in addition, it remains unclear what impact the incoming flood of tablet devices such as the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xeoom and so on will have on the PC market. “Although the majority of media tablets are currently embraced as complementary devices, these devices are eating into consumers’ share of wallet,” IDC said.