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Global PC sales growth tops 20 per cent

Both IDC and Gartner have released global quarterly PC sales reports, and both report a PC market in unexpectedly rude health thanks to renewed business spending and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market.

PC sales

Global PC sales surged by more than 20 per cent in the second quarter, led by business demand and renewed spending in Europe in particular.

Both IDC and Gartner's 2010 Q2 data shows a dramatically resurgent PC sector, as hinted at by Intel reporting its "strongest ever quarter" yesterday with profits of $2.9 billion.

Total PC shipments for the three months were up by 22.4 per cent globally, IDC says, while Gartner has the figure at 20.7 per cent. Both analyst firms say the increases were greater than expected.

That was largely because of the European market, which performed particularly well despite ongoing economic uncertainty, with both Asia and the US coming in slightly below expectations this time around.

"For the second consecutive quarter the EMEA PC market exhibited double-digit growth, signalling continued strength of the EMEA PC market despite uncertain economic conditions," said Ranjit Atwal, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"We expected the share of mini-notebooks to decline but they sustained 20 per cent of the total mobile PC market, indicating their permanent presence in the PC market in EMEA. The professional PC market has been more affected by both the economic conditions and pricing stabilisation, and we expect demand to pick up in the second half of 2010," Atwal added.

IDC pointed to businesses finally moving ahead with replacing ageing equipment after holding back during the economic downturn as playing a major role in the sales jump.

Mini-notebooks or netbooks may have held firm in Europe, but elsewhere the news was less good. "Mini-notebook shipment growth slowed significantly in the second quarter of 2010," Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said.

"Mini-notebook shipment growth still exceeded growth rates of the overall mobile PC market, but mini-notebook growth slowed to the low 20 per cent range compared with more than 70 per cent in the last two quarters. This slowdown indicates that mini-notebooks are entering a mature growth stage."

Kitagawa pointed to the "surging popularity of Apple's iPad" as potentially having cannibalised netbook sales and consumer notebook sales but was uncertain as to whether that would continue.

In terms of manufacturers, HP remains the top PC maker globally, but with a reduced 18.1 per cent share, according to IDC. Dell recovered to reclaim second spot from Acer, with 13.0 and 12.6 per cent respectively, though Gartner had the pair still in reverse positions.

In both analysts' rankings, Lenovo posted a near-50 per cent increase year on year to break into double figures, while Asus boasted even more impressive growth to rank in the top five for the first time.

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