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'Astonishing' year for PC sales as NZ records new record sales

The New Zealand PC market logged an ‘astonishing’ year in 2014, with year-on-year growth of 15.9% and 774,400 units shipped – the strongest year the New Zealand market has ever seen according to IDC.

And the good news is expected to continue, with IDC forecasting 2015 to be another strong year.

Arunachalam Muthiah, IDC market analyst, says growth and strong demand in the consumer segment during 2014 was driven by three big factors: strong uptake of entry level notebooks, saturation of the tablet market, and aggressive promotions by retailers.

“In 2014 commercial and consumer both played a vital role for New Zealand PC sales,” Muthiah says.

 “In the commercial space, XP migration stimulated substantial expansion in the first half of the year, but the second half was propelled by growth of chromebooks and ultrasmall form factor desktops,” Muthiah adds.

“We’ve seen good demand from the education sector for chromebooks and good demand for the ultrasmall form factor, or tiny desktops.

“Meanwhile the consumer space was price driven with a lot of price promotions and bundle promotions and the $300-$400 notebook seeing big demand.”

Factors that played a role in 2014’s record figures – particularly entry level notebooks and chromebooks – will continue to have a positive impact this year, with Mathiah saying he’s expecting 2015 to be even better than 2014.

The Kiwi figures are in stark contrast to those seen globally, where PC shipments were down 2.1% for the year.

On the vendor front, Sony’s exit created ‘a little bit of change’, Muthiah says.

HP again grew its market share quarter-on-quarter to take 43% of the market in Q4. Acer was second with 19% share, followed by Apple at 12%.

The top three all recorded steady growth in Q4 over the same period last year, with HP up 19.8%, Acer up 48.8% and Apple up 26%.

“HP has done really well, as has Acer,” says Muthiah. “And Apple is also performing well, particularly with their MacBooks. The whole thing is coming together for them. You don’t need to argue about their brand, it’s one of the best regarded globally and Apple having the entire ecosystem of products is helping them grow in the market.”

Dell and Toshiba rounded out the top five vendors locally, claiming 6.2% and 6.1% of the market respectively, growth of 7% and 31.7% respectively over Q4 of 2013.