How (and why) New Zealand bucks worldwide PC sales trend

New Zealand PC sales surged in 2014. IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker unit reports sales grew almost 16 percent during the year. That total zoomed past IDC’s already bullish forecast.

New Zealanders snapped up 774,400 units in 2014. We purchased 218,000 units in the fourth quarter alone.

The research company forecasts 2015 will be another bumper year. It says entry-level laptops and Chromebooks will lead the way.

IDC’s Auckland-based market analyst Arunachalam Muthiah says there was growth in both the consumer and commercial segments.

He says the move from Windows XP and refreshes were the main drivers in the commercial market. Meanwhile Chromebook sales pushed things along in the education sector. Muthiah said ultrasmall desktops also showed strong performance.

Aggressive price promotions tempted consumers to bring out their wallets. There was a strong demand for entry-level notebooks and he says a saturated tablet market also helped PC sales.

PC prices reached all-time lows during 2014. In part this is thanks to the strong New Zealand dollar. For the first time useable machines hit the shelves with price tags below NZ$400.

This suggests that while unit numbers surged in 2014, sales revenues and profit margins might not have been so hot.

Top 5 New Zealand PC Vendors, 2010 - 2014 (Share in Units)

Hewlett-Packard strengthened its position as New Zealand’s top PC brand with Acer in second place. Apple was third while Dell and Toshiba took out the fourth and fifth places respectively.

Dell’s business grew, but at a slower rate than the other four who all enjoyed big gains during 2014. It is now only a little in front of Toshiba and sixth-placed Lenovo.

Top 5 Vendors, New Zealand PC Shipments Fourth Quarter 2014