PC sales continue to defy global trend
Personal computer sales on the mainland are forecast to expand at about triple the global growth rate this year, spurred by the strong domestic economy and robust demand from its commercial sector.
Market research firm IHS iSuppli said in a report that total domestic shipments will be up 13.1 per cent to 83.6 million units, from 73.9 million last year.
By comparison, global shipments this year are set to advance by only 4.4 per cent.
Chinese technology giant Lenovo, the world's second-largest supplier of personal computers, is predicted to ship 29.9 million units, equivalent to 36 per cent of the estimated total this year.
Elaine Zhi, an analyst at IHS iSuppli's China electronics research team, said the mainland's 'fast-paced economic expansion' has helped make local personal computer demand 'exceptional, especially when compared to the tepid growth anticipated this year in PC shipments for the rest of the world'.
Last week, technology research firms Gartner and IDC predicted global personal computer sales growth to be flat this year.
Zhi expected total desktop and notebook sales to commercial enterprises on the mainland, the world's biggest market for personal computers, to lead those in the consumer segment 'by several million units' this year.
Notebook computers will lead domestic consumption this year, as shipment volume will reach 42.5 million units, up from 35.8 million last year. Desktop computers will come in slightly lower at 41.1 million units, up from 38.1 million.
Optimism over the mainland's economic health received support from the Asian Development Bank's forecast last week. The bank calculated the market's gross domestic product growth rate to come in at 8.2 per cent this year - well in excess of the 7.5 per cent target Beijing announced in March - and accelerate to 8.5 per cent next year.
IHS iSuppli said personal computer shipments to the mainland have been rising at double-digit rates for several years, and expected this trend to continue for two more years before easing up to about 9 per cent growth in 2015. Annual domestic shipments would reach 129.4 million units by 2016. Shipments this year will comprise about 23 per cent of the estimated worldwide total of 368 million units.
Following perennial market leader Lenovo, the other top brands on the mainland are Acer, with a forecast 11 per cent share this year; Dell, with 8 per cent; Hewlett-Packard, with 6 per cent; and AsusTek Computer, with 6 per cent.
Bryan Ma, an associate vice-president at IDC Asia-Pacific, said sales of Apple's laptop and desktop computers will also 'continue to gain momentum on the mainland' due to the iPhone maker's 'high-priority focus' on the market. IDC estimated Apple's first-quarter shipments of MacBook and iMac products to the mainland grew 80 per cent to 301,000 units from a year earlier. Its total mainland shipments last year reached 934,000 units, up from 440,000 in 2010.
Total domestic shipments are set to expand this much, to 83.6 million units, this year•Global shipments will rise 4.4 per cent