Aggressive pricing and strong portable PC sales drove worldwide PC shipments up 7.6 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter to 33.2 million, research released yesterday has revealed.
IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker found that Q2 shipments were ahead of projections for 4.1 per cent growth.
This was due to the strong response to pricing initiatives in the US and Europe, as well as the limited impact of the Sars virus on sales in Asia.
The analyst pointed out that the figures represent the fourth consecutive quarter of positive growth, and the highest growth rate since the end of 2000.
"The market is definitely moving in the right direction," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
"It seems that we dodged a bullet with Sars, and the market remains cautious, but growth in the US and Europe is ahead of schedule, and we're still expecting increased business spending and continued portable adoption.
"There's a chance that the results are driven by aggressive short-term pricing, so I wouldn't throw caution to the wind, but these are very good results."
According to the report, the EMEA PC market came in slightly above forecasts as price declines stimulated demand, and growth in portables remained strong.
The small and medium business sector continued to be the healthiest of the market, in part due to aggressive pricing and marketing initiatives.
IDC found that, overall, consumer spending remains moderate with strong demand for portables supported by the greater availability of entry-level systems. In contrast, corporate spending remains cautious.
Dell had a "very strong quarter", said the analyst, boosting year-on-year growth to nearly 29 per cent worldwide, and sustaining a growth premium versus the market of over 20 per cent in the second quarter.
Hewlett Packard also had a strong quarter, growing faster than the market both in the US and worldwide.
The vendor's gains reflected growing consumer sales in response to aggressive pricing as well as some activity in the commercial segment.
IDC's research put IBM in third place, reporting sales growth of 12 per cent worldwide and over 20 per cent in Europe.
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