Nielsen: Opportunities still exist for PC makers

Personal computer manufacturers can still squeeze opportunities out of the global consumer PC market in spite of its recent slowdown in the U.S., according to Nielsen//NetRatings Inc.

With the market losing momentum as the rate of home PC penetration escalates, opportunities for PC manufacturers to capture a larger slice of the market are becoming harder to find. However, Nielsen//NetRatings believes that focusing on largely untapped markets such as Europe will enable manufacturers to boost sales.

Less than 50 per cent of households in European countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and France currently house a PC, while France’s PC penetration is a lowly 34 per cent. According to Brian Milnes, managing director of Nielsen//NetRatings Asia-Pacific, this provides an excellent opportunity for PC manufacturers.

“With relatively large population bases and high disposable incomes, these markets present a great opportunity for PC manufacturers in the consumer market,” he said, adding that by lifting penetration rates to even 50 per cent would result in around 18 million sales.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, are the regions that have high PC penetration. Asia-Pacific countries, for example, have a home PC penetration rate of anywhere between 58 per cent and 68 per cent, with Australia landing in the second highest spot with 65 per cent of homes with a PC.

The way to ramp up sales in these regions, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, is to take advantage of the propensity of households to purchase multiple PCs. The study revealed that a quarter of Australian households with PCs have more than one, and this trend was reflected throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The exception to the rule was South Korea, which took top honors in the PC penetration stakes with 68 per cent of homes with a PC, but only 11 per cent of them had more than one.

“If consumer demand could reach the levels being attained in the multiple home PC markets, this would represent an additional opportunity of two million PC sales in South Korea alone,” Milnes said.