Despite concerns over the pace of the economic recovery, the global PC market is full-steam ahead, growing by more than 22% in the second quarter, a market research firm says.
While the rate of growth year-to-year was slightly less than expected, the PC market overall was robust and in a recovery phase following the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, IDC said in its quarterly report released Wednesday. PC shipments in the quarter grew 22.4%, which was less than IDC's forecast of 22.9%.
Worldwide desktop shipments slightly exceeded expectations, helping to confirm signs that businesses were plowing ahead with replacing aging PCs. Laptop sales, on the other hand, trailed predictions, an indication that the thus-far jobless recovery was having an impact on consumer spending, IDC said.
"The surge in consumer activity seen in the past two quarters has started to slow as expected, while commercial replacements continue to grow," IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell said in a statement. "We expect consumer activity to remain healthy, but gradually slow through the end of the year, while commercial market growth will be more stable, reflecting a planned replacement cycle over the next couple of years."
Regionally, Europe saw a "remarkably strong" market, as the region benefited from some recovery in the economy, as well as desktop replacements, IDC said. Meanwhile, growth in the United States and the Asia/Pacific region was slightly behind projections.
By vendor, number one Hewlett-Packard outperformed the U.S. market with 14.2% growth in the quarter year to year. However, HP saw shipments in the international markets slow to 11%, compared to the first quarter.
Dell recaptured second place globally from Acer with a solid 19.1% increase in shipments. Dell benefited from the rising demand among businesses, along with growth in the Asia/Pacific and Latin American regions.
Number three Acer saw shipments grow slightly slower than the global market as a whole. The slowest growth for the company was in the United States and Japan, while the company continued to perform well in emerging markets.
Fourth-place Lenovo had a strong quarter with more than 47% growth and impressive gains in all regions, IDC said. Strong laptop sales were a major driver.
Finally, Toshiba and Asus were statistically tied for fifth place. Toshiba shipments rose 26%, driven in party by strong laptop sales in the Asia/Pacific region, excluding Japan. Asus, meanwhile, continued to expand its distribution network, which was behind a more than 80% increase in shipments year to year.