PC Shipments Increase Globally as Demand Rises

Global PC shipments increased in the first quarter of 2012 as demand in Europe, Middle East and Africa was stronger than forecast on the back of robust demand by business, according to the research firm Gartner.

The results exceeded Gartner’s earlier projections of a 1.2 % decline for the quarter, the firm said on Wednesday, as global shipments grew to 89 million units in the first three months of the year.

PC shipments for businesses were above expectations across most countries, but consumer PC demand still varied greatly by country, Gartner said.

Shipments in Europe, Middle East and Africa were up 6.7 % compared with a year earlier, while the Asia-Pacific region grew at just 2 % as China ended a program that subsidized the cost of PCs in rural areas and India postponed a project by local governments to provide free laptops to students.

Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said “While the PC industry has high expectations for strong growth in the emerging markets, the slowdown of these countries in this quarter provides a cautionary notice to vendors that the future growth for the PC industry cannot heavily depend on the emerging markets even though PC penetration in these regions is low”

In the United States, PC shipments totaled 15.5 million units, down 3.5 %, but less than the 6.1 % decline Gartner had predicted.

Among the vendors “Hewlett Packard” held on to its No. 1 position with 3.5 % growth in shipments and a global market share of 17.2 %, as Reuters stated.

Chinese rival “Lenovo” again showed the strongest growth among vendors with a surge in shipments of 28.1 % and was gaining on HP with a market share of 13.1 %.

Kitagawa said demand would pick up somewhat in the course of the year after the release of Intel’s Ivy Bridge and Microsoft’s Windows 8, but cautioned the new products would not stimulate demand as much as the industry hoped.