Asia Pacific falls! Western woes hit PC market

PCJust as the global PC market seemed to be getting back on track, Asia Pacific looks to be faltering.

Yes, IDC on Thursday released its predictions for Q2 shipments in the region and the results show a one per cent decline over 2011, with HP and Dell the biggest losers.

The irony in all this is that IDC is blaming economic turbulence in the West as a major cause for consumers and enterprises to tighten spending, thus sending shipments down.

It’s an interesting observation because it really highlights the global, interconnected nature of the economy, and by extension the IT market, today.

We know from the global meltdown of 2008 exactly what happens when the economic dominoes begin to fall in one region – eventually everyone gets sucked in to a lesser or greater extent.

Asian companies with risk exposure in the West or multinationals with offices in Asia may both have found recent economic sluggishness in the markets they operate in outside of Asia Pac has led to greater caution inside the region, which could partly explain the PC stats.

On the consumer side, meanwhile, IDC analyst Avi Sundaram told me the following:

This is more of a sentiment issue. Weakness in Western economies has affected growth in Asian countries as well, with GDP numbers going down across the region in the first half this year. This, in turn, has affected consumer confidence as well. Admittedly, it is not something specific to PCs, but given how PC buying is still a discretionary expenditure out here, consumers are pulling back on all such non-essential spending, including PCs.

So whether it’s shipments to Western countries being hit or the knock-on effect of economic woes in the West leading to lower spending inside Asia Pacific, bad news in the US and Europe may mean bad news for Asia.

It’s all one messed up, interconnected global market.

If nothing else, this should all serve as a reminder to the IT leader in the West that they need to keep an eye on what’s going on all over the planet and not just their home market to effectively manage risk, spot emerging trends, and basically do their job properly.

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