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Canadian PC Market Saturation Reaches Tipping Point

IDC Canada released highlights from its third quarter of 2011 (3Q11) market assessment for the PC industry. The overall Canadian Client PC market proved to be fairly resilient with strong shipment numbers despite a negative year-over-year growth rate of -0.4 percent -- just behind the 0.7 percent growth in the U.S. and 1.3 percent growth worldwide.

Total PC shipments in Canada reached 1,921,032 units in 3Q11, which is a mere 6,833 units shy of the all-time high set in Q3 2010. Portable PC market performance posted a strong 5.7 percent year-over-year growth on 1,368,432 units.

Portable shipments in 3Q11 were the highest on record and just short of the total shipments for the full year 2005. Portable PC shipments in Canada made up 71.2 percent of all shipments, which is higher than the worldwide share for portable PC shipments of 64.7 percent.

As expected, desktop PC shipments were down 12.7 percent year over year with only 552,600 units shipped. HP led the overall Canadian Client PC market with a 24.9 percent unit share, gaining slightly from the 24.2 percent in 3Q10.

HP once again led the desktop space with 29.4 percent share and regained the top spot in portables with a 23.0 percent share. Acer took second spot with a 16.8 percent share of the overall Client PC market. Acer had the second largest share of portable PC shipments, with a 19.5 percent share, and came in fifth in the desktop market, with a 10.0 percent share.

Dell rounded out the top three with a 13.1 percent. Apple's share of the market surged for the third quarter gaining 2.9 percent over 2Q11 and ending the quarter with a 12.3 percent overall share, which is the best ever finish for Apple.

Within these results, there is furious competition heating up for market share. In the third quarter of 2010, the top 5 vendors had a combined market share of 80.4 percent of the market. In 3Q11 that share dropped to 75.2 percent share.

This decline and the 26.5 percent year-over-year growth in the Others category of vendors, including white box players, are indicative that the marketplace may be approaching a tipping point in terms of product. For example, IDC has identified more than 30 vendors that ship portable PCs into Canada.

Commercial PC shipments grew 7.2 percent year over year. The SMB segment accounted for more than 51 percent of units shipped into the Commercial segment and grew at a brisk 15.7 percent year over year. The rapid increase in portable shipments in the Commercial segment is especially noteworthy.

In 3Q11, portable shipments surpassed 60 percent of total commercial PC shipments. Compared to 1Q10, when portables represented only 48.8 percent of commercial shipments, the rise of portables has been impressive.

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