People Afraid of Losing Their Jobs Buy Fewer PCs
According to market-research outfits Gartner and IDC, PC shipment growth in the fourth quarter of 2008 was the worst since 2002. IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker shows global PC shipments down 0.4 percent year over year. So much for that annual holiday season uptick.
As expected, demand for PCs in the U.S. faced a challenging environment, with a substantial reduction in spending among both consumer and commercial segments amid tightening credit, eroding confidence, and growing unemployment. Not only unit growth was constrained, “but the value of the market also shrank as a result of competitive pricing and the introduction of lower-priced mini notebooks,” said IDC analyst Doug Bell. “Unfortunately, the first half of 2009 looks pretty shaky as the economic fundamentals need to recover before spending on PCs will resume.”
Gartner’s assessment of the quarter was slightly more upbeat, but nothing to celebrate. Fourth-quarter PC shipments worldwide rose 1.1 percent. That’s something. But it also represents the worst growth rate since 2002.
“The fourth quarter started out with a relatively optimistic view, but then it got worse every month,” Gartner analyst Mika Kitagawa explained. “In the fourth quarter, U.S. businesses quickly cut IT spending with public sectors, including some government and education buyers, postponing PC procurement due to budget crisis concerns. PC vendors focused on the professional market were especially hit by the weakening market conditions.”
Ya don’t say….
A few other bullet points worth noting here:
- Apple’s (AAPL) share of the U.S. computer market fell to eight percent during the fourth calendar quarter of 2008 from 9.5 percent, thanks to Acer apparently.
- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) remains the top PC vendor worldwide, with 19.1 percent market share. Dell (DELL) is second with 13.2 percent–down a full percentage point from last year.