PC sales jump as recovery begins
PC sales jumped 22.1% in the fourth quarter, with analysts suggesting the industry is finally ready to bounce back from its recent troubles.
Figures from Gartner suggest that 90 million units were shifted in the fourth quarter, representing “the strongest quarter-on-quarter growth rate the worldwide PC market has experienced in the last seven years.”
That’s certainly impressive, though the third quarter was a particularly weak one for the industry, with shipments up just 0.5%.
The surprising results came courtesy of netbooks and cut-price laptops, with consumers content to buy less able machines.
Shipment growth was largely driven by low-priced consumer mobile PCs, both in regular notebooks and mini-notebooks
“Shipment growth was largely driven by low-priced consumer mobile PCs, both in regular notebooks and mini-notebooks,” says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
“As economic weakness continued, buyers became extremely price sensitive. Low-priced PCs were good enough for many average consumers,” he said.
One surprising statistic was that Windows 7, despite its early buzz, failed to generate additional PC sales, according to Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst for Gartner’s Client Computing Markets group in EMEA.
Atwal claims that surplas Vista machines prevented suppliers from ordering Windows 7-loaded machines in sufficient copies to make an impact.
The figures tallied with those from IDC, which showed a 15.2% jump in global sales, representing around 85.8 million machines. The two companies also ranked the leading PC makers in the same order.
HP continued to hold top slot in the fourth quarter with 19.8% of the market, followed by Acer with 13.5% and Dell taking 11.5% of the global market.