Australian PC market ends 2003 on a high: Gartner

The Australian PC market ended the year on a strong note with an overall growth of 16.1 per cent compared with 2002. Meanwhile quarter-on-quarter comparison (the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter of 2003) showed growth was up by three per cent.

“The year definitely ended on a high note particularly driven by consistent replacement rates amongst enterprises and uptake of mobile PCs as the alternate platform in both the professional and private space respectively,” Andy Woo, analyst for Gartner’s Hardware and Systems group, said. “The growth rate is even more impressive given the maturity of the Australian market and all the externalities that have happened in 2003 such as SARS and the unrest in the Middle East”.

“Australia had enjoyed two strong years of double digit growth in 2002 (11.2 per cent) and last year. The big question is whether the market can maintain this strong momentum moving into 2004,” Woo said. “Gartner believes replacement rates will start to slide off in the enterprise space and interest rate rise will cause some slowdown in the consumer space eventually. Bottom line is 2004 is shaping to be a challenging year for the PC market.”

Mobile PCs ended the year with a growth of 35.2 per cent as compared to 2002.

“The mobile story is becoming more compelling for end users than ever before both from a price point and performance perspective,” Woo said. “We can expect this trend to continue in 2004.”

There was not much change in vendor positioning, as HP remained fixed on the leader board with 16.6 per cent market share followed by Dell with 10.2 per cent. IBM came in third having enjoyed a successful year especially their mobile PC business with seven per cent market share.

From an Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) perspective, PC shipments totaled 29.7 million units in 2003, an increase of 9.5 per cent from the prior year. Shipments of desktop PCs accounted for 82 per cent, down three per cent from 2002 while mobile PCs are at 16 per cent, up three per cent from 2002 of all PCs shipped.

IBM is the number one vendor in the mobile PC category with 15.7 per cent market share, outpacing Hewlett-Packard, which has dropped a notch to the second position in 2003.

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