World PC market 'unaffected' by economic slowdown

The economic downturn in the US had little impact on the worldwide PC market, with shipments in the first quarter of 2008 outstripping those in 2007.

According to figures from Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totalled 71.1 million units in the first quarter of 2008, which was a 12.3 per cent increase from 2007.

HP led the way in PC shipments, with its market share increasing from 17.5 per cent in 2007 to 18.3 per cent in 2008.

Gartner said that although it recorded solid growth in EMEA and other regions, it was struggling to increase shipment volumes in the US. Dell was second, with 2007 and 2008 both showing double-digit growth (increasing from 13.7 to 14.9 per cent). Acer was third.

"The US results were in line with our expectation, indicating that the PC market was modestly affected by the US recession, although there was no fundamental change in market conditions," said Mika Kitagawa, principle analyst for Gartner's Client Computing Markets group.

PC shipments in EMEA totalled 24.8 million units, which was a 14.9 per cent increase from the first quarter of 2007. However, the strength of growth was partly linked to the decline of selling prices on PC, due to increased competition which has forced vendors to compete at lower price points.

"The EMEA and Asia/ Pacific regions showed stronger than expected results, fuelled by solid mobile PC growth across most countries. Latin America continues its rapid growth due to consumer spending," he added.

Earlier this month Gartner released a survey which said that IT would not be seriously affected by the economic slowdown. Chief information officers around the world generally felt that PC budgets would hold steady for end-user organisations.