The PC industry is facing the prospects of further consolidation due to pricing pressure that is hurting margins at smaller computer manufacturers and as top vendors like Hewlett-Packard Co. Inc., and Dell Inc. further increase their market share, according to Gartner Inc.
The research firm said in a report Thursday (July 17) that PC unit shipment surged 16 percent in the second quarter from the year-ago period but added that average selling prices slipped in all segments of the market led by the notebook segment.
HP slightly increased its market share while Dell added almost one percentage point to its share at the expense of smaller manufacturers and companies like Lenovo Group and Japan's Toshiba Inc., the researcher said.
"Economic uncertainties have hit PC revenues, resulting in steep ASP declines, especially in markets such as the United States and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region," said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst for Gartner's Client Computing Markets group, in a statement. "The industry could ultimately see a significant wave of consolidation if stronger vendors continue to press their pricing advantage."
Worldwide PC shipment rose 16 percent in the second quarter to 71.9 million units from 62 million units in the comparable 2007 quarter, confirming indications of solid market growth earlier this week from microprocessor vendor Intel Corp. HP led the market with 13 million units sold, compared with 11.2 million for No. 2 market leader Dell, which increased its share to 15.6 percent from 14.8 percent.
Taiwan's Acer also improved its market share slightly to 9.4 percent on shipment of 9.8 million units from 9.2 percent or 5.7 million units in the second quarter of 2007. China's Lenovo, the No. 4 market leader, experienced a slight reduction in market share to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent.
The company shipped 5.6 million units during the second quarter, down from 4.9 million units in the year-ago quarter.
Gartner said the global economic downdraft is hurting PC pricing as consumers divert disposable income to energy and other essential commodities.
The shift drove down the "average selling price of mobile PCs sharply relative to desk-based PC ASPs," according to Gartner's Kitagawa.