There is light at the end of the PC funnel, according to figures released by IDC for the worldwide market. But PC giant Dell is suffering because the commercial sector just isn't buying.
IDC had expected that sales in the second quarter of 2009 would have declined by 6.3 percent but the decline was only 3.1 percent - largely due to people buying portable PCs. IDC said that all regions show growth in the sales of portable PCs, although the commercial segment continues to be shy of splashing its cash.
Even falling prices haven't tempted corporate buyers to bite, but that isn't the case for the consumer market, said IDC. Lack of commercial sales "remains a drag on growth".
Different markets showed different rates of decline. The US market declined by three percent quarter on quarter, year on year. Dell was top in this sector but its growth is closely tied to commercial sales. In the European sector, the portable market performed better than expected, largely due to sales of netbooks and telecomm deals. Again, the commercial market just isn't buying.
Japan had year on year growth and again the netbook market showed growth while the commercial market was slow. In the Asia Pacific region, China did well and India was about what was to be expected. Shipments were positive.
And now for the winners and losers in the PC desperation derby. As the following table shows, HP held the top spot while Dell showed a steep decline. Unit shipments are in thousands and X86 server sales are excluded from these figures.