Thu, 10 Mar 2005

From: AFP

Asia Pacific computer sales rise almost 14 percent in 2004

Agence France-Presse, Singapore

Asia-Pacific computer sales excluding Japan rose 13.8 percent to 33.1 million in 2004, with a similarly strong performance expected this year, the Gartner research house said on Wednesday.

For 2005, the U.S. technology analyst firm said computer sales were forecast to grow 12.7 percent to 37.3 million.

"Demand (last year) was exceptionally strong from the professional market where replacement as well as expansionary demand drove shipments," Gartner analyst Lillian Tay said.

"This was assisted by the better economic situation as well as the need to replace aging PCs (personal computers)."

Desktop PC shipments increased 10.4 percent in 2004 and are expected to improve further with growth of 10.8 percent this year, boosted by strong demand in China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, Gartner said.

Notebook or mobile PCs should grow 21.3 percent after 31.3 percent last year.

Of the 13 major regional markets covered by the Gartner report, China recorded the biggest sales last year with 14.93 million, up 14.9 percent from 2003.

India was a distant second with 3.39 million, a rise of 34.4 percent, followed by Australia with sales up 14.7 percent to 3.29 million.

South Korea was the fourth biggest market with sales of 3.27 million, a decline of 0.7 percent, followed by Taiwan where shipments rose 3.6 percent to 2.41 million.

Thailand was 18.9 percent higher at 1.49 millions, Malaysia rose 11.1 percent at 1.04 million and Indonesia was up 12.5 percent to 698,000.

Hong Kong was the ninth largest market with sales 11.7 percent higher at 661,000 followed by New Zealand which was up 19.8 percent at 571,000.

Singapore was 8.4 percent stronger with 566,000, the Philippines rose 8.1 percent to 342,000 and Vietnam increased 25.9 percent to 273,000.

Sales in the rest of the region registered a 13 percent rise to 177,000, Gartner said.