Latest statistics from Gartner suggest that big-name vendors in Australia sold 24 percent more PCs last year than in the previous year and 7.8 percent more PCs this quarter.
Andy Woo, principal hardware and systems analyst at Gartner in Australia, said the first quarter 'definitely' did better than expected. Strong demand had flowed from most market sectors, he said.
'The first quarter has always been one of the slower periods of the year but growth figures definitely counter this trend,' Woo said. 'We are seeing strong business and consumer confidence.'
However, the channel could be holding a lot of inventory, he said, so it would be interesting to see how the year progressed.
'The second quarter ... has historically been the strongest quarter for the year,' Woo said.
The mobile PC sector - which recorded year-on-year growth of 50 percent - was expected to continue as the dominant platform for much of 2004, he added.
HP has maintained its lead at 16.5 percent market share over direct seller Dell's 11.3 percent, Gartners figures claim.
However, Acer had nicked third place from IBM, netting eight percent of the Australian market. Acer had grown 77.3 percent in the past year, Gartner said.
IBM was the market leader - with 15.4 percent market share - in mobile PCs.
In the Asia-Pacific region overall, excluding Japan, 8.09 million PCs were shipped in the first quarter of 2004 - up 16 percent on the same period last year and up two percent on the previous quarter, Gartner said.
Lillian Tay, principal hardware and systems analyst for Gartner Asia-Pacific, said market confidence was stronger than in the same quarter last year.
'Q1 is typically a seasonally weaker quarter due to the Chinese New Year holidays... However ... India, South Korea and the Philippines exhibited strong quarterly growth rates,' she said.
Tay said the latter three had benefited from strong sales to professionals.
'This quarter, India overtook Australia as the third largest market, after China and South Korea,' Tay said.
In the Asia-Pacific, the top five vendors were HP, China's Lenovo - formerly known as Legend -- IBM, Dell and Samsung, in that order.