Asian PC Market Sets Records in Q1 1999 as Rebound Persists, Says IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., June 17, 1999 – The Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market posted its highest quarterly shipment total ever in Q1 1999, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Total regional PC shipments amounted to 2.95 million units in the first quarter, a total that was almost 25% higher than the same period one year earlier and more than 2% higher than Q4 1998. The annual growth rate in Q1 1999 was the highest figure produced since Q2 1996 when the market generated over 30% annual growth. Likewise, Q1 1999 marked the first quarter in over three years that every Asian country market IDC tracks enjoyed positive annual growth.

Market gains were supported by continuing growth in key countries such as China, Australia, India, and Taiwan. However, markets plagued by the crisis for the past two years turned in strong performances in Q1 also as their economies strengthened. Currency values have remained stable in the region for the past two quarters, and regional stock markets have been producing strong gains since the end of 1998. It now appears certain that the regional market's recovery is well underway. As a consequence of the strong Q1 results, IDC increased its regional forecast in 1999 to 12.9 million unit shipments for more than 23% annual growth.

"After two very tumultuous years, the regional PC market appears to be firmly planted on the path of recovery," said Brian Kornegay, research manager at IDC Asia/Pacific. "Obstacles such as political uncertainties in India and precarious China-U.S. relations remain, but IDC expects the regional PC market's momentum to continue."

Competitively, IBM maintained its lead in the regional PC market in Q1 with unit shipments of approximately 259,000, a hefty 49% increase when compared with the year-earlier quarter. IBM performed well in most regional markets, but the vendor's growth was boosted to the greatest extent by success in Korea, Australia, and Taiwan. Compaq maintained its second-place position in Q1 1999 with 223,400 unit shipments, or 7.5% more than it shipped in the year-ago period. Legend remained in third place with unit shipments surging 70.4% compared with the year-ago period for 5.9% market share. However, Legend recorded the only negative sequential growth rate among the top five vendors, with unit shipments down by 12% over Q4 1998. Legend's sequential drop in volume was caused by the Chinese market's first-quarter seasonal decline when compared with the final quarter of the previous year. Samsung held the fourth-place position with a 5.9% market share, followed by Hewlett-Packard with 151,100 unit shipments and a market share of 5.1%.

Market Highlights

Every country market generated positive annual shipment growth in the first quarter. Annual increases ranged from 4% in Malaysia where some political uncertainties still remain to 66% in Indonesia. Although bouts of political unrest sprouted up in Southeast Asia in the first quarter, the PC market in these countries continued to generate positive annual growth rates. Despite positive growth rates in markets that endured harsh economic conditions in 1998, it is important to note that most of these markets are still not back up to pre-crisis shipment levels. Once again, China played an integral role in supporting the region's growth as its market expanded. At 35% of the regional market, China is now more than twice the size of the next-closest Asian market (Australia). First-quarter PC shipments in the PRC amounted to more than 1 million units for a 22.1% increase from the year-ago quarter. The other country markets that rounded out the top five in Q1 included Australia, Korea, India, and Taiwan, respectively.

These findings stem from IDC's Asia/Pacific AsiaDAT Quarterly PC Tracker. To purchase this service, please contact Ronnie Gilligan-White at 508-935-4174 or by e-mail at rgilligan-white@idc.com. For more information on IDC Asia/Pacific's research offerings, please contact Lisa Bloom at 508-872-8200.

About IDC

Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., International Data Corporation is the information technology industry's most comprehensive resource on worldwide IT markets, trends, products, vendors, and geographies. IDC provides data, analysis, and advisory services to the world's leading IT suppliers as well as IS professions in finance, insurance, entertainment, advertising, consumer goods, and publishing. IDC's research and opinions are based on the results of more than 300,000 end-user surveys, in-depth competitive analysis, broad technology coverage, and strategic analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through its 500 analysts in more than 40 countries worldwide. Additional information on IDC can be found on its Web site at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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