HP looks to Asia to drive growth as PC, printer demand weakens worldwide

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 April, 2016, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 April, 2016, 7:03pm

Faced with a worldwide weakness in PC and printer demand, international vendor HP is betting on Asian markets to drive its growth.

“You are going to find a significant portion of that [growth opportunity] in Asia,” said Richard Bailey, president for Asia-Pacific and Japan at HP.

“HP as a company is much more focused on countries outside of US,” said Anneliese Olson, vice-president of the computing category for the region.

HP, the PC and printer business of the now-split Hewlett-Packard, has seen revenue drop with dwindling demand for PC globally. Its revenue for the first fiscal quarter that ended last January dropped 12 per cent from the same period a year ago.

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According to data from research firm IDC, global PC shipment fell more than 10 per cent last year.

In a bid to get into newer and more profitable premium segments of PC and printer, HP has recently rolled out a number of new products, including Elite X3, a smartphone that allows the device to connect to desktop screen and act as a computer console, and a 10.4 mm thick notebook, HP Spectre, which it claims to be the thinnest in the world

“These product are all designed for growth,” said Bailey.

It also expects the commercial 3D printing to move the company forward.

“Not only are we launching into what is called a growth market, I think our products will grow the [3D printing] market,” said Bailey.

While not anticipating the PC and printer market to return to rapid growth anytime soon, analysts expect them to recover in one or two years.

Jacky Zhao, an analyst from IDC, said there will be limited room for further decline in China’s PC market and that it will return to growth in two years.

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“Most of those who do not need a PC have already left it,” Zhao said. “There is still strong need for PC in business sector.”

The recovery of printer sales in China is expected to come earlier. Its shrinking growth in China last year was mainly due to the economic slowdown, which limited the buying power of corporate clients, IDC analyst Donna Wang said.

She said she expects the printer market to resume growing this year as the economy recovers next year.