In general, the HDD supply shortage had a limited impact on PC supply during the quarter. There was a moderate impact on selected markets, such as low-end consumer notebooks and the white-box market in selected regions. Still, low PC demand was able to mask the tight HDD supply overall. Gartner's preliminary results reveal worse-than-normal consumer PC shipment growth. The weak consumer PC demand is in part because of intensified competition for consumers' budgets. Device vendors that focus on a limited product line will get only a small portion of the consumer wallet.
HP increased its share as the global market leader, as it accounted for 17.2 percent of worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter of 2012. The study also indicates that Lenovo saw the strongest growth among the top five vendors, as its shipments increased 28.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Dell underperformed in most regions compared with a year ago. For the first time in two years, Dell experienced a year-over-year shipment decline in the Asia/Pacific market.
In the US, PC shipments totaled 15.5 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 3.5 percent decline from the same period last year. Previous estimations saw a market decline of 6.1 percent in the quarter. HP experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors in the US, as its shipments grew 6.6 percent, and its market share reached 29 percent in the quarter. Apple was the only other vendor among the top five to show growth in the quarter, as its shipments increased 3.8 percent.
The report further shows that PC shipments in EMEA totaled 28.2 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 6.7 percent increase from the same period last year. In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 30.3 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 2 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011. The PC market in Latin America declined 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012, as shipments totaled 9 million units. Mobile PC shipments grew 0.4 percent over the first quarter of 2011, while desk-based PC shipments decreased 7.6 percent.
PC shipments in Japan grew 11.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, as shipments reached 4.4 million units. The double-digit growth was due in part to the very weak performance in 1Q11, which was affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March of last year.
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