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`Whiteboxes` dominate PC market in 2007

BS Reporter  |  Bangalore 

As per IDC estimates, assembled PCs or whiteboxes formed nearly 40 per cent of the market with the branded category bringing up the balance 60 per cent. However, some industry estimates peg the share of branded desktops at as low as 49 per cent.

Nearly 6.5 million PCs were shipped in calendar 2007, recording 20 per cent year-on-year growth in unit shipments from 5.4 million units in 2006, with a majority of the whiteboxes being consumed by individuals, according to IDC. The research firm has reportedly been under pressure from the industry to revise its numbers on the branded market for calendar 2007.

IDC noted that individuals were among the biggest buyers of "whitebox" or unbranded PCs last year. However, on the commercial side, buyers were increasingly choosing major local and multinational brands. Flexible configurations, were a key selling point for consumers in this case.

The "whitebox" study, conducted among consumer and commercial PC buyers, was supplemented by channels and components research. The study mapped PC trends in cities across the country. The primary objectives of the study were to gain insights into factors affecting buying decision, life cycles, price sensitivity, distribution channels and different end-user segments.

IDC has now widened its outlook for the domestic PC market by adding "whitebox" desktops to its total shipment estimates. IDC sources said that while vendor market shares have been reduced as a result of the market size increase, individual vendor shipments, growth rates and rankings would not be affected.

Meanwhile, the results of an IDC survey on the domestic PC market released on Sunday said that nearly 1,000 personal computers (PCs) were shipped every hour during the first quarter (January-March) of 2008. During this period, computer shipments stood at more than 2.1 million against 1.9 million PCs in the corresponding period of 2007, the survey said.

This took total shipments during 2007-08 beyond the 8.25 million mark, recording year-on-year growth of 22.3 per cent. Shipments in 2006-07 were 6.75 million.

Commercial PC shipments at 5.55 million more than doubled from 2.71 consumer PC shipments during the previous year. Of the 2.03 million notebooks shipped during the year nearly two-thirds (1.34 million) were directed at the commercial sector, IDC said -- one in four computers shipped in 2007-08 was a notebook PC.

First Published: Mon, June 16 2008. 00:00 IST