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IDC: Asian PC market on comeback trail

The Asia-Pacific arm of the market research firm says the worst is over for Asia's personal computer market, with recovery anticipated in the second half of the year.

Market research firm IDC Asia-Pacific believes the worst is over for Asia's personal computer market, with recovery anticipated in the second half of the year.

"We're seeing a glimmer of hope for the first quarter, with the regional PC market expected to grow 12 percent this year," said Bryan Ma, IDC Asia-Pacific research manager for Personal Systems.

The positive outlook is bolstered by signs of revitalized economics across the region, with many countries resuming their growth path in mid-2002, Ma said in a telephone interview Thursday.

For this quarter, Ma estimates that Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) is expected to grow by 4 percent year on year.

In the last quarter, only China and Thailand performed well, with growth rates of 12.1 percent and 7.6 percent respectively, IDC said in a statement.

China's PC shipments grew by 264,000 units to 2.45 million units in the fourth quarter of 2001 as compared with the corresponding period in 2000, while Thailand saw an increase of 10,400 units to 147,900 units.

The worst performer for the fourth quarter last year was Singapore, where PC shipments fell 24.3 percent to 101,700 units, IDC said.

In total, Asia-Pacific shipped 5.65 million units in the fourth quarter of 2001, representing a mere 1.9 percent increase from the same period a year before.

"While consumer and corporate buying may not have returned to the level attained in 2000, the declines have been less drastic than previously expected given the tragic events that have unfolded since Sept. 11," Ma said.

On market leadership, Ma said China's Legend Computer was still in pole position with an approximate 12.9 percent market share. The company shipped 730,000 units last quarter, representing an 8.5 percent growth year on year.

Dell Computer emerged the winner in terms of year-on-year growth. It shipped about 273,000 units--an increase of 20.6 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2000.

Compaq Computer achieved modest growth of 8.4 percent in the last quarter, but IBM, Samsung and Hewlett-Packard declined in terms of year-on-year growth performance, IDC said.

Nawaz Marican reported from Singapore.

Asia-Pacific PC unit shipment, Q4 2001 ('000)

Countries Q4 2001 Q3 2001 Q4 2000 Q3-Q4 growth (%) Q4 yr-on-yr growth (%)
Australia 523.6 485.7 562.8 9.6 -5.4
Hong Kong 148.8 175.1 178.6 -15 -16.7
India 435.4 446.4 463.2 -2.5 -6
Indonesia 107.9 127 115.1 -15 -6.2
Korea 955.9 778.4 974.8 22.8 -1.9
Malaysia 194.7 198.5 201.1 -1.9 -3.2
New Zealand 80.7 79.2 81.7 1.9 -1.3
Philippines 77.5 82.8 83.2 -6.4 -6.8
China 2,445.7 2,307.2 2,182.0 6 12.1
Singapore 101.7 98.9 134.3 2.8 -24.3
Taiwan 305.7 278.9 306 9.6 -0.1
Thailand 147.9 170.2 137.5 -13.1 7.6
ROAP/Vietnam 112.2 117.1 118.7 -5 -5.5
Total 5,646.7 5,346.4 5,538.8 5.6 1.9
Source: IDC Asia-Pacific