Asus, HP, Lenovo Lead Surge in PC Market Growth

A report from iSuppli shows Asian computer makers displaying impressive sales growth, while U.S. competitors such as Dell and HP underperforming slightly. Asus, Acer, Toshiba and Lenovo all experienced strong year-over-year growth, the report shows.

The rise of Asian-based original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) led the worldwide PC market to rise an impressive 22.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010, according to market research firm iSuppli. The company noted with shipments in the first quarter totaling 81.5 million units--up from 66.5 million during the same period in 2009-the surge marked the highest year-over-year growth ever recorded by iSuppli.
Asian OEMs Asus, Samsung, Lenovo and Acer posted the strongest year-over-year growth among the Top 10 OEMs. Though placing sixth in total shipments, Asus, based in Taiwan, led growth with 136.2 percent more sales compared to the first quarter of 2009. South Korea's Samsung, in eighth place, posted the second-best performance, with its shipments rising by 83.9 percent. Fourth-ranked Lenovo of China achieved the third-highest results, with its shipments increasing by 58.5 percent.
"The first three months of 2010 delivered the highest quarterly PC shipment growth on a year-over-year basis since iSuppli began tracking the market in 2003," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli. "This record growth resulted from strong sales in the first quarter of 2010 combined with weak conditions during the first three months of 2009. Early 2009 represented one of the weakest periods in the history of the PC market, as consumer and corporate demand plunged due to the economic downturn. With economic conditions improving, PC sales rebounded in early 2010."
Acer's strong results allowed it to close its market share gap with market leader Hewlett-Packard (HP) to just 6.3 percentage points in the first quarter, down from 8.5 points a year earlier. Wilkins noted HP and the number two PC OEM, Dell, "slightly underperformed" the market, with their shipments rising by 22.2 and 21.8 percent, respectively, from a year earlier. The company's report also singled out the one U.S.-based computer maker that managed to outperform the PC market in the first quarter: Number seven-ranked Apple, whose shipments rose by 32.4 percent from a year earlier. The report's focus, however, was squarely on the successes of their Asian competitors.
"While Hewlett-Packard retained its position at the top of the PC pile, Acer is advancing at an impressive rate," Wilkins said. Acer continues to benefit from its focus on notebooks, which represent the fastest-growing segment of the PC market. Notebooks accounted for nearly 80 percent of Acer's PC shipments in the first quarter. The company's success is built upon its strong product lines for both regular notebooks and netbooks-as well as its limited exposure to the slow-growth desktop segment.
The desktop PC market in the first quarter achieved year-on-year growth for the first time on a quarterly basis since the second quarter of 2008. However, shipments grew by only one percent. In contrast, notebook shipments increased by 26.5 percent. iSuppli's latest worldwide PC forecast calls for unit shipment growth of 17 percent in 2010, with increased demand for notebooks but flat growth for the desktop segment. "PC shipments in the first quarter of 2010 beat iSuppli's outlook due to surprisingly strong notebook shipments, combined with robust increases in notebooks," Wilkins said.