Taipei, June 27 (CNA) Taiwan’s Acer Inc. slipped to third place in the Australian personal computer market in the first three months of 2012 as the segment suffered its worst quarterly decrease in two years, market advisory firm International Data Corp. (IDC) said in a report recently.
IDC said that PC shipments in Australia dropped 12 percent sequentially to 1.35 million units during the first quarter because global economic uncertainties, a carbon tax initiation and high interest rates continued to weigh down consumer and business sentiment.
Hewlett Packard Co. held firm its top place with a 19 percent market share by having secured key wins in the government space, while also maintaining a consistent run rate in small- and medium-sizedbusiness and corporate spaces.
Meanwhile, Apple Inc. replaced Acer in the No. 2 spot with a 14 percent market share as Acer's shipments normalized given the completion of its notebook rollout to Queensland schools as part of Australia’s Digital Education Revolution program.
“Aggressive injection of marketing funds that fueled the price wars in 2010 and 2011 resulted in accelerated PC refreshes, but sales fatigue eventually took a toll on consumers last quarter,”said IDC market analyst Amy Cheah.
“Many PC retailers are struggling to remain profitable amid severe market softness, and we are seeing many of the major Australian retailers consolidating their footprints to varying degrees,”she said.
With consumer spending tightening, retailers in Australia saw a significant deterioration in sell-through performance, thus causing large inventory buildup in channels, according to IDC.
Despite vendors’ and Intel Corp.’s marketing pushes, the hype and novelty factor of Ultrabooks were unable to elevate the market due in part to their expensive price points, leading to high stock levels of Ultrabook by the end of the first quarter, IDC said.
Although Windows-based Ultrabooks encroached on Apple's Macbook Air, the new category still failed to make a dent on Apple’s position as leader in the expanding thin and light notebook space, the researcher said.
Cheah expects the market softness in Australia to continue into the second quarter of this year and forecasts that PC shipment growth will be flat sequentially during the April-June period.
(By Jeffrey Wu)