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.