Taipei: PC sales in Asia fell 5% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the region’s first such decline in a decade as the global downturn sapped demand, according to data released on Monday.
The fourth-quarter drop in Asia, excluding Japan, was well ahead of 0.4% drop in global PC sales for the period, according to data tracking firm International Data Corp.
It was the region’s first decline since the third quarter of 1998 at the height of the Asia financial crisis, said IDC PC analyst Bryan Ma.
“This quarter was quite a jaw-dropper -- not just in China, but also in India where economic and channel issues really took their toll,” Ma said. “The clouds are darkening in 2009, although there might be some pockets of shelter in the region.”
Regional leader Lenovo, China’s dominant player, took the biggest hit of all of the region’s major players, notching a 4.4% decline in fourth quarter shipments.
Earlier this month Lenovo announced a major restructuring including 2,500 job cuts, as it forecast a loss in its December quarter.
The region’s No. 2 player, Hewlett-Packard also saw its fourth quarter regional sales dip 3.6%. But No. 3 player Dell came on strong with a 15.4% rise, followed by the Taiwanese pair of Acer and Asustek, up 7.8% and 26.5%, respectively.
The region posted 9% growth for the full year, less than half the 22% from a year earlier and the slowest growth rate since 2001.
Lenovo remained the region’s top player for the year with 18.3% market share, up slightly from 18.2% in 2007. HP boosted its share to 14.1% from 13.2%, while Dell and Acer both posted strong gains of more than a percentage point.
The PC industry’s fading fortunes come after the sector stood tall for most of the last year, even as other technology sectors foundered. But all that has changed in the last two months, with a slew of sales warnings and cuts in business forecasts signaling the sudden downturn may last through most of 2009.