The economic sluggishness in big emerging markets in the region adversely affected buying sentiments, with education sector projects being a lone bright spot in the commercial space, without which the region could have dropped even further. On the consumer side, smartphone and tablet distractions spread throughout the region this year, further contributing to the sharp decline in the PC market.
In 4Q13 specifically, the market came in 2% below IDC's initial forecasts with a 9% year-on-year decline. While most of the region was generally in line with forecasts, Thailand stood out as an exception, as the market there was plagued by the ongoing political turmoil. Shipment volumes this quarter will likely be the lowest in Thailand in the last four years.
"The year ended on a somber note for the PC market, as it declined for the second consecutive year. Distraction from competing devices, ongoing pessimism in the economy and exchange rate pressures were among the factors impacting the market this year," said Handoko Andi, Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.
Lenovo retained its top spot, although it could not shrug off the slump in its home market China, posting an annual decline in 2013 as a result. Hps year-on-year growth in 2013 was almost entirely due to fulfillments for a big education project in India. Weakness in China arrested an otherwise good year for Dell in the region, despite the internal distractions affecting the vendor. ASUS, too, fell in line with the overall market trend, declining year on year, while Acer continued to struggle with its product strategy, declining in nearly all markets in the region this year.
2014 is expected to remain another challenging year for the PC market, as competition will only grow among the devices," Andi adds.
Further, exchange rate pressures, political risks and economic uncertainties will all likely spill-over into 2014 as well. That being said, if the big ticket education projects from last year get repeated, or if the Wintel eco-system is able to bring low-price full function PCs to the market, these are all potential upsides that could help drive volumes in the upcoming year."