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Apple Shoots To No.1 Consumer PC Oz

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The Australia New Zealand PC market enjoyed “solid” 6% annual growth in 2011, with 6.8m computers shipped despite “supply side challenges and weakening consumer demand,” analysts IDC confirmed today.

And MacBook Pro maker Apple was the big winner among Aussies in Q4, seizing the title of No.1 consumer brand for the first time, said IDC analyst, Amy Cheah.

This comes after Cupertino released next gen MacBook Air in July, 11″ or 13″ high resolution LED backlit displays, kitted out with Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual processors, flash storage and Thunderbolt I/O. 

However, Apple lost its No.2 spot in the overall ANZ notebook market to Acer, who saw “strong uplift” in Q4, on the back of a major deal with Queensland schools.

Australia   4Q11 Market Share
1    HP    19%
2    Acer    17%
3    Apple    16%
4    Dell    14%
5    Lenovo    9%
     Others    25%

HP, which are still strong in enterprise markets still maintained its lead in the ANZ PC market last year on 19%, despite losing share, noted analysts, due to “sluggish” commercial uptake.

Acer followed HP with 17% and Apple was at its tails on 16% in ANZ.

However, market “softness” was evident in the final quarter of 2011 across all ANZ PC segments except education.

1.55 million PC’s were shipped in Australia during Oct- Dec period representing 10% annual growth. In New Zealand, 187,000 units were shipped in Q4, on par with IDC’s forecast with flat growth as IT spending lagged after the Rugby World Cup in October.

However, similar to Australia Apple managed to overtake Acer across the ditch and claim the No.2 PC spot in the consumer market for the first time.

ANZ    2011 Market Share
1    HP    22%
2    Acer    15%
3    Apple    14%
4    Dell    13%
5    Toshiba    10%

Retailers in the ANZ region also engaged in minimal promotional activity due to limitations in hard drive supply, said Cheah. The Christmas season was sporadic, picking up towards the end of December and a seasonal spike expected in Q4 was absent.

The hard disk drive (HDD) shortage resulting from flooding in Thailand also caused supply side issues although the impact was “milder” than expected as vendors in the ANZ region got priority over other countries due to the higher value of its market.

Although ‘Ultrabooks’ released by the likes of Asus, Acer and Toshiba “were the talk of the town, uptake has yet to ramp up,” say IDC analysts.

Vendors and retailers face a tough challenge in justifying the higher price points, since the new swathe of super slim and light PCs cost over $1000 – hard to justify since notebooks are dropping in price, as are tabs and other laptops.

IDC expects the Australian PC market to contract 2% in 2012 as education roll outs decelerates while the NZ market is expected to grow 2%.