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PC sales up 5.8 pc in Q2 `on consumer purchases'

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, July 22

PERSONAL computer (PC) sales in India grew by 5.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2002, driven mainly by consumer segment, which offset dull corporate purchases, according to a report by IDC.

Total PC sales in the country during the second quarter stood at 5.36 lakh over 5.07 lakh units sold in the corresponding period, IDC said, while forecasting that the Indian market may see strong growth in the third quarter of the year.

``India entered a seasonal corporate purchasing low in Q2, but the market still grew by 5.8 per cent on the back of a good consumer segment and little or no impact from the recent political tension in Kashmir,'' it said.

On a sequential basis, however, computer sales were lower in the second quarter as compared to the first quarter during which PC sales stood at 5.38 lakh units.

The PC market in the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan) touched 5.80 million units in the second quarter, achieving a sequential growth of 1.5 per cent and a 5.4 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

Additionally, year-on-year growth rates in almost all countries in the region have turned slightly positive. This is a pronounced improvement from the first quarter in 2002, when only half of the countries in the region were able to post positive year-on-year growth, IDC said.

``Although it is clear that a full recovery is not in our hands yet, the incremental improvements observed in the Asia/Pacific region over the past two quarters give us a glimmer of hope,'' said Mr Bryan Ma, Research Manager, Personal Systems, IDC Asia/Pacific.

``Still, any dose of optimism should be taken in moderation. The market is heavily dependent on the fragile economy, which continues to face formidable challenges,'' he added.

Chinese computer major, Legend, maintained its position as the leading vendor in the region in the second quarter with 16 per cent sequential growth and a 13 per cent year-on-year expansion. HP-Compaq ranked second while IBM stood third in the region.

IDC said though the slightly positive year-on-year growth from most countries in the region is encouraging, corporate PC purchases were generally slow while the economic recovery remained limited.

Furthermore, the PC replacement cycle expected to begin this year will likely be delayed as some corporations and users opt for upgrading existing PCs rather than purchasing new systems.

As such, IDC cautiously expects the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region to grow by less than 9 per cent in Q3, with the strongest growth coming from the ever-important Chinese and Indian PC markets. Yet should the economy's recovery be further delayed, the PC market rebound could similarly be pushed back.

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