Australian PC market still strong (says Gartner)

Australian PC market still strong (says Gartner)

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Australian PC sales grew 2.8 percent for the first quarter of calendar 2011, helped by a surge in demand for mobile computers and a stunning 23.5 percent jump for Apple, according to analyst group Gartner.

A total of 1.4 million units were shipped, which was slightly down on the previous corresponding period. However, Gartner stressed that it was a good result considering the maturity of the local PC market, which significantly outperformed the US, Europe and much of the Asia Pacific.

“Given the very high PC saturated market in Australia, 2.8 percent is solid growth, making it one of the leading mature markets driving PC growth in Asia Pacific,” said Gartner research analyst Eileen He.

She said the strong demand was supported by Australian government policies including PC-related tax breaks and student PC plans. This helped to grow first quarter sales of mobile computers by 7.6 percent.

Corporate buyers were another important driver of mobile PC sales, while a growing preference for devices such as tablets saw consumers buying less of them.

“This growth reflects the increasing shift of organisations towards mobile workforces, with government and education sectors showing positive growth,” He said. “Consumer demand on the other hand, slumped despite expectations of growth mainly due to the changing focus of consumer purchasing needs towards media tablets and other electronic devices.”

Gartner found the top five PC vendors of HP, Acer, Dell, Apple and Lenovo represented 69 percent of the total market.

It noted that strong growth for Apple placed the company in fourth position ahead of Lenovo for the fourth consecutive quarter. Lenovo’s first quarter performance was worse than any of the other companies in the top five, falling 12.9 percent while Acer and Dell fell 6.9 and 1.7 percent respectively.

“Apple’s growing retail store expansion in Australia and brand image enforced by products like Macbook Air, iPhone and iPad, have largely contributed to this significant shift throughout 2010,” He said. “Consumers in Australia have a strong willingness to walk into an Apple store to experience and purchase Apple products. This coupled with the enriched application provisions provided by its products are an attractive option for consumers.”

Market leader HP was the only other company to post positive growth with a 12.8 percent rise in first quarter sales helping to deliver it a dominant market share of 21.6 percent.

Eighth ranked Samsung gained a special mention after posting a 141 percent jump in first quarter sales.