Global economy and interest rates blamed for crash in OZ Pc market.

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Ultrabook fail to set PC market alight.

PC giant HP lead the OZ Pc market (19%) in first quarter of the year and Apple came in No.2  as computer sales go soft, overall.

Q1 2012 was the softest quarter in over 2 years, analysts IDC confirmed, as the uncertain global economy along with the introduction of carbon tax “continued to weigh down consumer and business sentiment/”

Hewlett Packard held firm as PC leader having secured “key wins” in the government space while also maintaining a consistent run in the SMB and corporate markets.

Apple recorded a slight drop in Mac sales as attention shifted to the new iPad and Intel Ultrabooks, hailed as the saviour to the PC market in light of the tablet revolution.

And tablets like iPad and Smasung Galaxy Tab have impacted on the notebook market, particularly the netbook category, in the OZ market, and Q1 was evidence of that, IDC’s Amy Cheah told SmartHouse.

Tabs are not include in these latest stats bar Windows based devices, which may increase following the release of  Microsoft Windows 8 later this year.

So who did the new notebook category, Ultrabook, released by makers including Acer, Asus and Toshiba fare in OZ?

Windows-based Ultrabooks, took share from Apple’s Macbook Air but despite this failed to make a dent on their leader position in the (expanding) thin-and-light notebook space, IDC confirmed.

In fact, Apple retook the number two spot from Acer as the brands shipments normalised after the completion of its notebook roll out to Queensland schools.

Even the “hype and novelty factor of Ultrabooks was unable to elevate the market due in part to their expensive price points” IDC noted.

Commercial spending also reduced as firms focused on managing costs while education spending declined with the end of the Government’s Digital Education Revolution program.

The impending release of the new gen of Intel processors further contributed to fall in PC refreshes.

“Aggressive injection of marketing funds that fuelled the price wars in 2010 and 2011 resulted in accelerated PC refreshes but sales fatigue eventually took a toll on consumers last quarter,” said IDC market analyst, Amy Cheah.

“Many PC retailers are struggling to remain profitable amid severe market softness and we are seeing many of the major Australian retailers consolidating their footprint to varying degrees.


New Zealand,  PC market is showing signs of recovery after a year of contraction in 2011 andConsumer, SMB and Education were the largest growth sectors given the back-to-school and back-to-work seasonality in Q1.

IDC expects the market softness in Australia and New Zealand to continue into this quarter (April-June).

“We are cautious in our outlook for Q2 as tax time in Australia is becoming less of a driving factor to households and businesses. While the double interest rate cuts this quarter may help ease financial burdens, it will take months before the upside, if any, translates into PC sales” said Cheah.

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