Consumer portable PCs halt slide but margins suffer

IDC’s latest PC market survey suggests that world wide shipments dipped 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the largest decrease since Q3 2001. However, this was less than the industry was expecting – but margins are under pressure.

According to the growth of Mini Notebook PCs is playing an important role in the overall market. Shipments of 5.7 million in Q1 2009 were ahead of expectations, but contributed to a decline of 3.1 million traditional notebooks from a year ago.

Mini notebook PCs contributed US$2.2 billion in revenues compared to notebook shipments which declined by US$8.4 billion.

However, IDS believes that Mini Notebook pricing is expected to rise with more robust models and shipment growth is expected to slow with the release of  low-cost, thin and light Intel CULV and AMD Congo based systems later this year.

“The economic crisis continues to dampen PC demand and force changes in the market,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

“The concentration of growth in the consumer segment and in evolving categories like Mini Notebooks is quickly raising the stakes of competition.”

“Despite a relatively slow first quarter, industry supply chanin checks suggest that the worst is over and we are starting to be more optimistic about volume growth at the end of the year and especially into 2010,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC’s vice president, Clients and Displays.”

“New product introductions coming this fall, including low-cost, thin-and-l;ight consumer portables, low-cost Intel Atom based all-in-ones, and, of course, Windows 7, should provide a spark that helps to push market towards positive shipment growth over the next 12 months.

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