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Australian PC market in the red but netbooks up

Australian PC market in the red but netbooks up

PC sales shrink by three per cent, but recovery is already on the way

The Australian PC market suffered a three per cent drop in Q1, 2009 but is already on track to resume growth, according to analyst firm, IDC.

PC analyst, Felipe Rego, said enterprise customers were the primary cause for the downward slide with the sector posting decreased sales of 13 per cent in Q1 2009 compared to Q1 2008.

“The commercial market was the most impacted one, people were a little bit afraid of spending any capital and also the lack off confidence drove the market down,” he said.

But consumer spending grew by 13 per cent in the same period and prevented the market from plummeting into the red, assisted by government stimulus packages.

“If it wasn’t for the growth of mini-notebooks, we would probably have very mild growth,” Rego said. “The cash hand-outs helped with people having a little bit more disposable income.”

Rego identified the SMB sector as another pillar of growth. Government boosts to taxation benefits for small business played a major part in helping sales.

“In Q2, we’re probably looking at good figures for SMB. There’s a lot of fiscal stimulus helping to drive that. Tax breaks do help, particularly in this period where organisations want to buy and then claim the tax back,” he said.

Rego predicted major enterprise customers will continue to avoid large-scale spending until the market improves.

“Larger organisations will still be a little bit concerned as profit expectations are still not so good, but towards the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 things will start to pick up,” he said. “We’re looking at 10 per cent growth in Q4 09 when compared to Q4 08.”

Rego also contended a rise in virtualisation and thin clients is directly leading to a decline in PC purchases

“That’s expected to grow quite a lot and a lot of CIOs say that they are considering or trialing some type of virtualisation,” he said. “The ratio of thin clients to commercial PCs is very interesting, but it’s still early days.”

IDC stated that HP continues to be the market leader with 20 per cent market share, followed by Dell with 17 per cent and Acer with 12 per cent.


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