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The Asia/Pacific PC Market Contracted For the First Time In 2012

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The Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market declined 2% in full year 2012 to reach 121 million units, recording a full year contraction for the first time, according to preliminary analysis by IDC.

Ongoing weakness in the global economy finally caught up with the region, affecting demand across both consumer and commercial segments. Mature markets in the region were impacted by distractions from smartphones and tablets as well, further hurting PC shipments there as a result. In 4Q12 specifically, the market came in 4% below IDC's initial forecasts with a 5% year-on-year decline, as channels across the region remained distracted with clearing out existing Windows 7 inventory before bringing in new Windows 8 stocks.

"Initiatives such as Ultrabooks and Windows 8 haven't reinvigorated the PC market as much as the industry had hoped," said Avinash K. Sundaram, Senior Analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC. "In light of this softness, IDC expects growth to remain muted in the upcoming years. However, we also must not forget that this is still a more than USD60 billion market in the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region alone."

Lenovo remained in the lead in 2012 as it continued to expand beyond China in the region, making particularly strong strides in India. Internal re-organization activities kept HP busy for much of the year, though its recent efforts at regaining partner confidence helped the vendor arrest some of the decline. Dell, meanwhile, made a strategic choice to shift its focus towards higher valued products. ASUS persisted with its strategy of targeting lower tier cities in emerging markets with entry-level SKUs to steadily gain ground across the region.

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