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Canadian PC market grows by 20 per cent in 2Q05: IDC Canada

Declining price points in the entry-level notebook segment, along with improved performance and feature set options in the high-end desktop replacement space provided the strong stimulus in portable PC adoption, officials said.

The IT consultancy said PC shipments rose 20.5 per cent year-over-year and for the first time, broke the 1 million unit mark in the traditionally quiet second quarter, according to preliminary figures released by IDC’s Canadian Quarterly PC Tracker.

“Notebooks are well suited to address people’s increasing connectivity, productivity, and entertainment needs. Without question, the Canadian PC market’s run up over the past couple of years has been spurred on by this mobility trend,” said Eddie Chan, research analyst for IDC’s Canadian mobile- personal computing and technology programs in Toronto. “In 2002, portable PCs made up less than 24 per cent of total PC client shipments and are projected to surpass 30 per cent by the end of this year.”

Declining price points in the entry-level notebook segment, along with improved performance and feature set options in the high-end desktop replacement space provided the strong stimulus in portable PC adoption.

Although IDC doesn’t track tablet PCs as a separate category — it tabulates those sales as ultra-portable PCs — Chan said tablet PCs typically pull down less than two per cent per any given quarter. Don’t believe the hype indeed.

Meanwhile, the report stated that on the strength of consumer and small business spending, the notebook market posted impressive growth of 40 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago. Desktop shipments grew by a solid 14 per cent year-on-year and were also driven largely by the consumer and small business segments. The x86 server market also grew 14 per cent, although the pace of growth has moderated over the last four quarters.

In terms of vendors, IDC said Dell led the Canadian PC market with nearly a quarter share of the overall market in the second quarter on year-over-year growth of 22.8 per cent. The Round Rock, Texas-based company captured top share across all computing platforms, from desktops and notebooks to x86 servers.

“Ask anyone you know who’s shopping for a computer where they’re looking and usually the first thing they say is ‘the Dell Website’,” Chan said. “Overall it’s been another quarter of very good growth in the marketplace; a continuance of the last two years worth of growth driven primarily by the Y2K replacement cycle and general PC penetration into the (consumer and SMB) market.”

Hewlett-Packard posted total shipment growth of 13.5 per cent from a year ago. However, HP’s x86 server shipments fell 41 per cent from the first quarter resulting in a shift from first to third place.

Lenovo, in its first quarter of operation as a distinct entity from IBM, closed the second quarter with 12 per cent share in the Canadian PC market, ranking third overall in desktops and fourth in notebooks with its existing IBM Personal Computing Division ThinkCentre and ThinkPad product portfolio targeted at the commercial market, the report noted.

Toshiba notebook shipments bounced back from the first quarter to regain second place in the Canadian notebook PC market. The vendor was able to capitalize on its strong retail presence in winning mind share and interest amongst consumers with its media-centric lineup of Satellite and Qosmio notebooks.

Apple posted stellar second quarter results in part due to the halo effect of the successful iPod, which helped drive interest towards the Mac platform. In addition, the affordable Mac mini in its second quarter of availability, sparked consumer adoption and triple-digit growth in desktop shipment volumes.

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