There are growing signs that the downturn in the IT industry has bottomed out and may start turning the corner soon – the latest being better-than-expected PC shipment figures for the second quarter of 2009.
IDC figures show a 3% decline in PC sales during the quarter, better than the expected 6%.
Meanwhile, Gartner has reported that PC shipments were down 5% for the quarter, instead of the almost 10% it had predicted.
According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totalled 68,1-million units in the second quarter of 2009, a 5% decline from the second quarter of 2008, but better that the declines of 9,8% it had initially expected to see.
"In the first quarter of 2009, inventory re-stocking played a major role in shipment growth, but this was less of a factor in the second quarter," says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Though the market was still in decline, the better than expected results can be interpreted as a small sign of a PC market recovery in terms of shipment volumes in some regions.
"PC shipments in Asia/Pacific and the US were better than our expectation, while shipments in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region indicated ongoing weakness."
Hewlett-Packard¹s shipment growth was ahead of the worldwide average as its international business performance was better than in the US. HP continued to be aggressive on low priced mobile PC systems.
Dell and Acer once again effectively tied for the second position in the global market. On the revenue side, however, Dell's shares were expected to be much higher than Acer's. This is because Acer's shipments were mainly fuelled by low cost systems, while Dell¹s shipments had broader product coverage from low to high priced systems.
Lenovo was driven by strong shipment growth in Asia/Pacific, while shipments in the US and EMEA were below the regional averages.
PC shipments in the US totalled 16,4-million units in the second quarter of 2009, a decline of 1,2% from the second quarter of 2008.
The EMEA PC market had a double-digit decline for the second quarter in a row. PC shipments in EMEA totalled 20,6-million units, a 10,9% decrease from the same period in 2008.
"The EMEA PC market in the second quarter of 2009 saw continued weakening across EMEA," says Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst for Gartner's Client Computing Markets group in EMEA. "Despite some return to seasonality trends, the EMEA PC market has not bottomed out yet."
In EMEA, HP maintained its number one position despite the rationalisation of its organisation.
"HP has been undertaking cost-cutting measures throughout the first half of 2009 resulting in the merger of its professional and consumer divisions and the subsequent reduction of products in both segments. While HP continues to cost-rationalise and optimise its organisation now, it might make the company less flexible in capturing growth opportunities when the demand returns in 2010."
Acer and Samsung continued to be very aggressive with their push on mini-notebooks compared with a more measured approach from Toshiba, HP and Dell. As a result, Acer and Samsung were the only vendors in the top ten vendors to show growth. Asus was unable to sustain its shipments levels from a year ago as Acer and Samsung took over some of its retail contracts and continued presence in the telecom retail segment.
"The outlook for the third quarter of 2009 is expected to be weaker than the second quarter as year-on-year growth comparisons will include mini-notebooks. Back-to-school activity is in motion but needs to continue through out the third quarter to have any upswing effect on the market," says Atwal.