Netbook sales drive PC growth

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Netbook sales drive PC growth

The latest figures from analyst house Gartner report that sales of PCs and x86 servers grew by 15 per cent from this time last year.

The bulk of the growth has been driven by strong interest in the netbook market segment according to the analyst house. It singled out Acer and Asus, whose EeePC launched the market for such devices, as particular winners.

“The mini-notebook segment experienced strong growth in the global PC, led by robust growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region,” said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner's Client Computing Markets group.

“In the North America market, the economic crunch created more interest in the sub US$500 segment. Because the mini-notebook is still a new segment, it is too early to determine if the emerging segment created new market opportunities, or if it cannibalized lower priced systems.”

Overall HP remains the world’s biggest supplier of x86 systems, with 18.4 per cent of the market compared to Dell’s 13.6 per cent. However Acer showed the strongest growth of any manufacturer, with sales rising nearly 50 per cent to give it 12.5 per cent of the market.

However, Kitagawa sounded a warning note of tougher times ahead. He warned that a global slowdown in sales was coming about due to the overall financial situation.

“The global PC market finally felt the impact from global economic downturn. The U.S. professional market experienced the biggest hit from the economic crunch. The U.S. home market saw definite softness in PC sales after a few quarters of strong growth,” Ms. Kitagawa said.

“The Asia/Pacific PC market was impacted by a slowdown in China. PC growth in Latin America was slow relative to historical levels, but it was still in line with the forecast.”
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