According to market research firm IDC, the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market declined 2 percent in 2012 to reach 121 million units, recording a full year contraction for the first time.
The prevailing slowdown in the global economy has been cited as the main reason for the decline, which finally caught up with the region, affecting demand across both consumer and commercial segments.
IDC also said that mature markets in the region were affected by distractions from smartphones and tablets as well, further hurting PC shipments there as a result. In the fourth quarter of 2012 specifically, the market performed 4 percent below IDC's initial forecasts with a 5 percent year-on-year decline, as channels across the region were more concerned with clearing out existing Windows 7 inventory before bringing in new Windows 8 stocks.
"Initiatives such as Ultrabooks and Windows 8 haven't reinvigorated the PC market as much as the industry had hoped," said Avinash K. Sundaram, Senior Analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC. "In light of this softness, IDC expects growth to remain muted in the upcoming years. However, we also must not forget that this is still a more than US$60 billion market in the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region alone."
Lenovo remained in the lead in 2012 as it continued to expand beyond China in the region, making particularly strong strides in India. Internal reorganisation activities kept HP busy for much of the year, though its recent efforts at regaining partner confidence helped the vendor arrest some of the decline.
Dell, meanwhile, made a strategic choice to shift its focus towards higher valued products. ASUS persisted with its strategy of targeting lower tier cities in emerging markets with entry-level SKUs to steadily gain ground across the region.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.