Shipments of computers for personal use jumped by 14.6 percent worldwide in the first quarter, well above prior estimates of 13.2%, according to market research firms IDC and Gartner, and reported at Digitimes. The market in the USA had a weak showing compared to other areas of the globe, but still clocked in with a respectable 3.5% year over year growth. And the term "personal computer" is really starting to mean something now. We're likely to continue to move from a computer in every house to one in every lap for the foreseeable future.
As with previous quarters, much of the growth came from the notebook markets, and in particular the consumer notebook segment in retail environments. "Notebook purchases are driving consumers beyond one PC per household to one PC per person and manufacturers are reacting by focusing their attention on customization and personalization," said Bob O'Donnell, vice president, Clients and Displays of IDC. "The ability to see and touch these devices in the retail environment and pick one out that matches a consumer's unique style is a critical part of the buying process for consumers."
Microsoft's release of Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista during the past quarter is expected to eventually raise the desire for businesses to deploy new PCs using Vista, but the impact in the first quarter of 2008 was very slight, noted IDC. Instead, the quarter's growth continued to be driven by declining average selling prices (ASPs) and the general transition to mobile PCs among businesses and consumers.
It's interesting that in the appended charts of who sells what, where, that Apple doesn't crack the top five manufacturers anywhere except the US. (They are number four in the US) So either Apple's appeal is peculiar to the American market, or it has a lot of potential internationally. Fanboys are welcome to go at it in the comments over which it might be.