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Reports claim the U.S. is becoming less of an influence on the PC market as developing countries emerge

The signs of economic downturn are showing up in many places around the United States form large companies laying off employees by the thousands to the bust in the housing market leading to significantly increased numbers of home foreclosures.

The lagging economy is evident in the technology industry as well and shows in the significant layoffs coming from industry giants like Dell and Motorola. The PC industry is feeling the softening economy in the terms of fewer computers shipped in the United States.

According to research firm IDC worldwide PC shipments in Q1 2008 grew by 14.6% to 69.5 million units. Estimates for the quarter were 13.2% growth, so the industry exceeded expectations. Despite growth in PC shipments worldwide, the U.S. market slipped to a year-over-year growth rate of only 3.5%.

IDC reports that the U.S. share of the worldwide PC market fell by more than 2 points to 23% compared to the same period in 2007. This drop is showing that the U.S. is becoming less of an influence and emerging markets in developing countries are becoming more important for PC makers. The top five PC makers in the world according to IDC in order are HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba.

At the same time the top five PC makers were seeing drops in shipments in the U.S. Apple was shipping more systems. InformationWeek reports that Apple shipments grew 32.5% to one million units compared to 762,000 Macs shipped in the same quarter last year. IDC also released a report recently showing that Apple was now in the top five U.S. computer makers with a firm hold on the number 4 spot.

The gain in U.S. market share by Apple could be attributed to the often more affluent Apple buyers. With Mac systems costing more than similar PCs, the typical Apple buyer tends to be more affluent and possibly less affected by the slowing economy in America.



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PC Growth was greater in US than for Mac
By giantpandaman2 on 4/17/2008 2:47:24 PM , Rating: 6
Here's the only article that I could find with hard numbers.

http://www.infoworld.nl/idgns/852573C4006938800025...

By simple calculation 15.96-(15.96/1.035)= .54 or 540,000 unit increase in US PC shipments in the first quarter as compared to last year. This is compared to the "whopping" 32.5% growth of Macs which was only an increase of 238,000 units. Simple math, an increase in a tiny number will give you a huge increase in %, but not necessarily and big increase in absolute numbers.

Honestly? I don't like this article. It's misleading and it doesn't have the hard numbers available or cited in it. I expect these poor number games from shitty media outlets/reporters who failed basic math, not from DT. There should be a rule that you can't cite percentages unless you have a link to the hard data where the percentages came from.




RE: PC Growth was greater in US than for Mac
By bill3 on 4/18/2008 12:33:38 AM , Rating: 2
It's just dailytech. They're so biased. This is just another Apple blowjob and attack on MS. Also incredibly innacurate if not just stupid, like most Dailytech FUD.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 7:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
> "This is just another Apple blowjob "

Come now...there have been dozens of negative stories against Apple here just in the past year, particularly in stories about the iPhone, or Apple's heavy-handed attempts to protect their patents and trademarks.

You can argue this particular story sensationalizes the facts (and I'll even agree with you), but there's really no evidence of a pro-Apple bias here.


RE: PC Growth was greater in US than for Mac
By Realtosh on 4/18/2008 4:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
<obligatory statistics comment>
"There's lies, damn lies, and then there's statistics."
</obligatory statistics comment>

Enough of that.
Let's look at what your calculations tell us.

"15.96-(15.96/1.035)= .54 or 540,000 unit increase in US PC shipments"

Of that..
"32.5% growth of Macs which was an increase of 238,000 units"

So... 238,000/540,000= .44, which means that 44% of all computer unit growth in the United States were Macs.

That's a pretty good place to be. With a much smaller installed base (past) as many comments have reinforced, Macs account for close to half of all growth (present). Apple has quarter after quarter of 40%-60% of Mac unit and revenue growth. If the future looks like the present more so than the past, then Macs ought to become aprox half of all PC shipments. In fact, if Apple maintains the unit growth trend of the past couple of years, eventually there will be more Mac PCs shipped than non-Mac PCs (future).

Also interesting is that the average cost of Macs is much higher than the average cost of PCs. Furthermore, the average cost of Macs is increasing, as are gross profit margins. Meanwhile the average cost of PCs is dropping, and the profit margin of PCs in general is razor thin. So Macs are getting an increasing share of the premium PC market, while opting not to fight in the bargain-basement segment of the commodity PC business. In fact, many PC manufactures charge much more than Apple for higher end machines with similar specs, in order to make up for losses in selling the low-end cheapo PCs at the bottom. So Apple can sell a high-end system at the same price and make more money because they are not losing money selling low-end boxes.

Based on specs or features, Macs cost similar or slightly less or slightly more than comparable PCs from Dell, HP and other large PC manufacturers. Many of your readers should do actual cost comparisons to realize that the Apple of today has aggressive pricing on great computers. In the areas that Apple chooses to compete in, namely mid and high-end computers; Macs often cost less than comparable Windows boxes. At the bottom end of the market, where manufacturers cut specs in order to compete on price alone, Apple does not participate. On the other hand, selling PCs in that low-end space is not profitable.

Although, the article didn't present a clear picture, there were no misstatements of fact. The writer just doesn't seem to understand the market dynamics that are creating the sales growth figures that are presented. The actual estimated sales figures as calculated by giantpandaman2 actually tell us a more interesting story, that even gpm2 doesn't see. If we had also been given PC revenue growth, instead of just PC unit growth, the differences would be more pronounced; as Apple has a larger share of the premium PC market. Apple is growing units and revenue at the top-end by selling better machines for less, while other manufactures are struggling to maintain unit growth numbers by losing money at the low-end with severely-limited cheapo PC boxes to maintain their units sold numbers.

<witty, sarcastic comment>
I wonder which of those two business model scenarios is sustainable for long-term success.
</witty, sarcastic comment>


By aussie3138 on 4/24/2008 1:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Realtosh,

I find that stats are useless. Maybe helps the raw numbers but working in Real Estate, being forced to use Marketlinx/Tempo to get our information puts the stats in a different world.

We are "forced" to use Windows and MSIE.

Now hopefully the iPhone will change that backward MS controlled thinking.

Peter


By Realtosh on 4/19/2008 1:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
This Infoworld Nederland article that you quote is not the only article with hard numbers. Even worse, many of the numbers that it quotes are wrong, some as much as a whole magnitude wrong. For example, Apple has been reported to have sold more than 1 million units , but this IWN article puts the number at 95,000 . This isn't even close to being right, not even in the ballpark.

Apple has usually done better than both the Gartner and IDC estimates . Anyway, we'll find out next Wednesday. The point is that the US PC market is just barely keeping up with year earlier unit numbers. And to do so, many low-end PCs were shipped at money-losing unsustainable loss leader pricing. Compare that to Apple, who is increasing unit growth as well as average price and even gross profit. Apple is not being forced to literally give away computers in order to maintain year over year unit numbers. In fact, Apple is increasing their share of profitable PC sales by offering better prices at the upper end than other PC manufactures, while opting out of the profitless stripped-down PC market.


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