Economic Crisis Drives Notebook "Rightsizing"
At first glance, the growth of the global personal computer market during the third quarter would seem to belie any notion of a vast economic downturn. Despite the financial crisis gripping Wall Street, PC shipments increased 15 percent from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008, according to Gartner (IT).
Still, the PC industry is feeling the effect of the economic meltdown. “The U.S. home market saw definite softness,” said Gartner analyst Mika Kitagawa. “The global PC market finally felt the impact from global economic downturn.”
The fastest growing computer segment in the quarter: mini-notebooks. “The mini-notebook segment experienced strong growth in the global PC, led by robust growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region,” said Kitagawa. “In the North America market, the economic crunch created more interest in the sub-$500 segment. Because the mini-notebook is still a new segment, it is too early to determine if the emerging segment created new market opportunities or if it cannibalized lower priced systems.”
Seems the volatility in the world’s economy hasn’t undermined interest in new PCs so much as refocused it on a new category.
One last point worth noting here, in light of Tuesday MacBook event. Apple (AAPL) continues to exceed industry growth in laptop sales. As Apple COO Tim Cook noted yesterday, “Several quarters in a row, we’ve been growing two to three times the market growth.”