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Asean PC sales drop 5.5% in 2015 fourth quarter

Weak consumer demand and high inventories blamed for falling PC sales in Asean, which mirror Asia-Pacific trend

PC sales in the Asean region declined in 2015, with shipments falling 5.5% in the fourth quarter compared with the equivalent period in 2014, according to IDC.

The drop mirrors a 6.5% fall in PC shipments in the Asia-Pacific region for the same period.

“The decline in the consumer market was caused by both weak consumer demand and high inventories, especially in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia,” said Jarit Sidhu, research manager, Asean client devices at IDC Asia-Pacific.

“The improved enterprise investment could not help offset tepid spending from government and the SME [small and medium enterprise] segment.”

Total shipment of PCs in Asean declined by 1.2% in the full year of 2015, IDC said. It expects the slide in PC shipments to continue in 2016 and 2017 before they stabilise when demand in the commercial PC market recovers in 2018.

PC shipments in the Asia-Pacific region totalled 107.6 million units in 2015 – a 7.7% decrease and a faster fall than the 5.7% drop in 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2015, the market declined by 6.5%, reaching 26.9 million units, IDC reported.

Large education projects in India and Thailand helped boost shipments in the Asia-Pacific PC market, but the market was significantly affected by China’s economic slowdown.

The Chinese government’s anti-corruption initiatives and deceleration in the manufacturing, construction and mining sectors affected commercial IT spending.

In Indonesia, the market was also weak because of lower government IT spending and a high inventory in the consumer channels throughout the year.

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IDC’s findings echo research by Gartner, which also found a decline in the Asia-Pacific PC market. According to Gartner’s preliminary research, Asia-Pacific PC shipments totalled 26 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 1.5% decline from the equivalent period in 2014.

Gartner said the weak economic climate affected spending, resulting in both the consumer and commercial segments holding back on PC buys.

“The consumer market remains volatile due to the weak economic climate, leading to consumers tightening their discretionary spending, and the continued availability of free Windows 10 upgrades also contributes to some consumers holding back on potential replacements for their PCs,” said Lilian Tay, principal research analyst with Gartner’s technology and service provider research group.

In July 2015, Microsoft offered free updates to its Windows 10 platform, which made customers likely to defer purchasing a new computer as they could have Windows 10 on their existing machines.

“Also, suppliers and retailers are not keen to chase the value segment where margins are low, while new products running Windows 10 come with higher specification, and so a higher price than the previous operating system,” said Tay. “In the commercial market, companies remain cautious in their PC spending due to the weakening economic situation.”

According to Gartner, all global regions have seen a decrease in PC shipments, with worldwide shipments totalling 75.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, 8.3% down on the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full year, PC shipments totaled 288.7 million units, an 8% fall from 2014.

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