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Drop in value blamed on cut-price netbooks

PC shipments down in Q2 2009

Worldwide PC shipments dropped by over two per cent in the second quarter of this year, with the value of shipments down 19.1 per cent, according to research.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker found that 2.4 per cent fewer units were shipped in Q2 than the same period last year. The volume of desktops sold was down 17 per cent, as businesses limited spending and the market continued to shift towards portable PCs.

While commercial portables were down 16 per cent, consumer portables were the only area to see growth, with shipments up 44 per cent on Q2 last year. Traditional notebooks saw 13 per cent year-on-year, but shipment value was down 6 per cent.

IDC puts this decrease in shipment value down to the rise in popularity of low-priced netbooks, which now have a 26 per cent share of the consumer portables market, compared with 5 per cent a year ago.

"Although mininotebooks have hurt margins of traditional notebooks, we can expect ultra thin notebooks based on new low voltage processors from Intel and AMD to somewhat stem the tide," said IDC research analyst Jay Chou. "By integrating portability, longer battery life, and better multimedia specs and performance, the growth of these ‘ultra thin-n-light’ systems could give mininotebooks and traditional premium ultra portables a run for their money."

Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, added: "Not everyone wants an entry-level system, and rising commercial spending should boost demand for traditional notebooks. After all, even prices on traditional notebooks are falling, and device cost needs to be balanced with the device capabilities, resulting productivity, and total cost of ownership including maintenance costs."

IDC predicts the market will begin to stabilise in terms of units and value in 2010. Netbooks will continue to grow, but the introduction of CULV-based systems should limit their share of the market and the resulting price erosion.

Portable PC shipments are expected to increase at an average rate of over 17 per cent until 2013, resulting in 11 per cent average growth in total shipments and almost 5 per cent in shipment value.

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