According to market researchers at IDC and Gartner, PC sales surged over 25 percent in the first quarter of 2010, setting the stage for what could be a year of record PC sales. And that's bad news for Apple: The PC sales surge came during the quarter in which the company announced its new iPad device, which was supposed to jumpstart a new computing product category, according to Apple and like-minded pundits. Instead, it was traditional PC desktops and laptops running Windows 7 that went flying out the door.
According to Gartner, PC makers sold over 88 million personal computers in the first quarter. And the 25 percent gain in year-over-year sales was dramatically better than the 15 percent growth seen in the previous quarter, suggesting that the recent economic downturn is coming to a close, at least in the tech sector.
"The strong first quarter builds on the fourth-quarter rebound and shows rising confidence in the PC supply chain and commercial client base along with persistent demand from consumers," an IDC report reads.
"These Q1 figures indicate that the professional PC market is gradually picking up, driven by replacements in mature markets," a Gartner report explains. "Major PC replacement demand driven by Windows 7 will become more apparent in the second half of 2010 and the beginning of 2011."
HP was the number one PC seller in the quarter, again, followed by Acer (with incredible 54.3 percent growth), Dell, Lenovo (a whopping 59 percent growth), and then ASUS (114.8 percent!) and Toshiba, which were tied for fifth place. Not coincidentally, microprocessor maker Intel this week also posted mammoth sales figures of its own, thanks to strong demand for its PC chips: The company earned $2.4 billion in profits on revenues of $10.3 billion, both record amounts for the company. Intel saw growth across the board, both in low-end and high-end systems and, for the first time in a while, with corporate customers.
Looking ahead, both IDC and Gartner now expect 2010 to be a record year for PC sales. On average, PC sales are expected to grow as much as 25 percent this year. Put in perspective, PC sales growth was just 5 percent in 2009.
For more information and a discussion about the quarter's PC sales figures, please see Q1 2010 PC Market Share on the SuperSite Blog.