1 - 15 August, 2003

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IDC: Market Improves, Still Remains Soft

Worldwide PC shipments declined slightly in the first quarter of 2002, reflecting continued pressure on the market. Shipments were down 2.7% year on year and 8.9% sequentially to a total of 31.4 million. Market growth was up relative to a projected decline of 5.4% year on year, consistent with a slowly recovering market.

Shipments in the United States were nearly on par with a year ago, as the market transitioned from decline to recovery. First quarter shipments were down 0.4% year on year, while a sequential decline of 6.1% was modest compared to the historical average of -10.4%.

The regional outlook, as shown in the study, is the following:

  • United States - Still no growth although the market is improving. Consumer spending held up well for the first quarter, although the market remains quite cautious. We expect the United States to lead as the market recovers.
  • Europe - Traditional sequential decline from the fourth quarter. Growth trend is similar to the United States, although more moderate changes in growth. Consumer and commercial buyers remain cautious and are spending on other priorities.
  • Japan - Market decline continued in line with expectations. Economic weakness weighed on the market, particularly in the commercial segment.
  • Asia - Regional growth remained positive but in the low single digits. Growth in China improved, while the region's second and third largest markets, South Korea and Australia, returned to positive growth.

From the point of view of the vendors, the IDC market researk shown:

  • Dell - Made solid gains in shipments and market share in all major regions. Dell is competing aggressively in this market transition by leveraging its direct business model in the United States and abroad.
  • Compaq - Performed reasonably in light of the merger although growth was below market for both U.S. and international.
  • HP - Despite the distraction of merger issues, HP refocused its PC business - growing shipments roughly in line with the market. In the US, HP managed flat growth from a year ago although declines accelerated in Asia.
  • IBM - IBM also refocused its U.S. business, particularly in commercial desktops while worldwide growth was slightly behind the market.
  • Fujitsu - Fujitsu held onto its home market of Western Europe, but experienced slight declines in Asia.
  • Gateway - Held market share in the markets that it has chosen to defend, U. S. consumer and small business segments, as a result of an aggressive price-cutting campaign. Nevertheless, overall shipments were down significantly.

The top 5 vendors remain Dell, Compaq, HP, IBM and Gateway.

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