Apple’s iPad tablet computer hasn’t even made it onto Canadian Apple Store shelves yet, and already the media tablet segment is shaking-up Canada’s client PC shipments landscape by enticing buyers away from the once white-hot mini notebook (or netbook) segment.
According to IDC Canada, the Canadian client PC market performed above expectations in the first quarter of 2010. Total shipments reached 1,598,316 units in the quarter, up 18.2 per cent over the first quarter of 2009 but down 5.7 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2009. Leading the way was impressive year over year growth in the consumer and small office spaces. Consumer shipments grew by 26.6 per cent, year over year.
“While overall PC unit shipments declined on a quarter over quarter basis, average selling values increased by more than 5.1 per cent from Q4 2009,” said Tim Brunt, senior analyst, personal computing, IDC Canada. “Several factors came into play causing the increased selling values including a shift in product mix, increased component costs, richer configurations, and fluctuations in the Canadian dollar.”
The bulk of shipments were again in the portable segment, which performed slightly better than forecast, growing by 29.6 per cent, year over year, shipping 1,000,515 units.
“Shipments of portable PCs were driven largely by consumer demand,” said Brunt. “Consumers are still purchasing more than 65 per cent of total portables shipped.”
Some interesting trends are at play within the portable numbers. One a white-hot segment, mini notebook (or netbook) shipments were down more than 100,000 units over Q4 of 2009.
“This sharp decline could be an early indication of shifting trends in the consumer segment,” said Brunt. “Some of that shift is moving to full sized portables, but the majority is gravitating to media tablets. “
And while Apple’s iPad isn’t available yet in Canada, and HP’s Slate has yet to launch, products such as this may be causing former netbook buyers to either delay their purchases, or head south of the border.
“Even though they aren’t shipping in Canada, yet we have seen early adopters acquire product from the U.S.,” said Brunt.
Over in the desktop PC segment the news is good, with shipments performing well above expectations at 597,801 units, an improvement of 3.1 per cent year over year and a sign that the steep declines in this space appear to have stabilized, albeit at a fraction of its former prominence.
On the vendor leaderboard little changed in Q1, with HP holding onto the top spot with 26.3 per cent of shipments, followed by Acer at 20.1 per cent and Dell at 17.1 per cent. The top five is rounded-out by Toshiba and Lenovo, both under 10 per cent.
“The traditionally strong Q1 for shipments into government organizations was challenged this year by budget cuts and delayed purchases with a modest one per cent unit shipments year over year growth which was just slightly higher than muted expectations,” said Brunt. “Commercial shipments grew 9.1 per cent year over year; this was led by 63 per cent growth into the small office segment.”
Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN .