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Computer Shipments Fell 3.2 Percent in First Quarter

Worldwide PC shipments declined 3.2 percent during the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter last year, according to researcher International Data Corporation (IDC).

Total global PC shipments dropped from 83.2 million in the first quarter of 2010 to 80.5 million during the first three months of 2011.

The decline was due to weak purchases by businesses and consumers. An increase in fuel and commodity prices, and the earthquake in Japan which disrupted some electronics production, contributed to weaker PC demand, reported IDC.

Although its sales declined 2.8 percent in the first quarter, HP is still the market leader in PCs.
PC demand in the first quarter was weakest in mature markets such as United States and Europe and stronger in emerging markets such as Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan). In Asia Pacific, PC sales increased 5.6 percent.

In mature markets, there were apparently no compelling reasons to buy secondary PCs, and buyers in those areas are focused on many "necessary replacements," according to IDC.

"'Good-enough computing' has become a firm reality, exemplified first by mini notebooks and now media tablets," said Jason Chou, senior research analyst with IDC's worldwide quarterly PC tracker. Buyers in mature markets are focused making "necessary replacements," Chou said.

"What PC vendors have to think hard about is how to enable a compelling user experience that can justify spending on the added horsepower," noted Chou.

Three of the top five PC OEMs had fewer shipments the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. Market leader HP saw its PC shipments decline 2.8 percent in the first quarter. Dell's PC shipments fell 1.8 percent, while Acer suffered a 15.8 percent drop in its first-quarter 2011 shipments compared to the first quarter of 2010. However, Lenovo grew its computer shipments 16.3 percent. The company continued its dominance in Asia/Pacific while expanding in other markets.

Toshiba finished first quarter with 3.8 percent growth, focusing on the portable PC segment.