Surprise! PH PC market hits record-high shipment levels in Q1 2016

In Business by Alora Uy GuerreroLeave a Comment

Say anything you want against PCs, but did you know that the market for them in the Philippines defied global trends in the first quarter of 2016? Not only that, the local PC market posted the highest shipment levels since the third quarter of 2014.

According to research firm IDC, PC shipments in the country reached 518,645 units, growing 7 percent year on year.

This trend is expected to continue for the rest of 2016.

The Philippine PC market will be the only one in Southeast Asia to continue on a growth track this year.

With consumers in developed countries choosing smartphones over PCs as their computing device, the Philippines will be among the few countries in the world that will see PC market growth, says Sean Paul Agapito, IDC Philippines’ associate market analyst for client devices.

In fact, the Philippines will be the only Southeast Asian country to continue on a growth track, he adds.

This is the "Philippine PC Market YoY Growth, Q1 2014-Q1 2016" chart published by research firm IDC.

This is the “Philippine PC Market YoY Growth, Q1 2014-Q1 2016” chart published by research firm IDC.

Take note that notebooks will represent a chunk of the shipments. That became more pronounced early this year as more consumers ditched desktops to go mobile. How so?

For one, PC vendors introduced more entry-level notebooks to the local market, Agapito says.

There was also a growing number of public establishments that offer free Wi-Fi. Think coffee shops, convenience stores, and malls like Ayala, which began offering free Internet access with speeds of up to 150Mbps — higher than most Filipino households get — in March 2016.

Agapito adds that the growing on-the-go culture of the working class likewise compelled consumers to consider portable PCs more than stationary ones.

Why are smartphones not the preferred computing device of Filipinos when the Philippines is, in fact, the fastest-growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia, according to IDC’s latest data?

My take: IDC’s report leaves more questions than answers for me. Two of the reasons Agapito stated — the proliferation of hot spots in public establishments and the working class’ mobile lifestyle — can also be the reasons for adopting smartphones rather than notebooks. Also, vendors have always pushed for affordable laptops. So why are smartphones not the preferred computing device of Filipinos when we are, in fact, the fastest-growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia, according to IDC’s latest data? I’m stumped. Help me out please. Also, the chart above bothers me. What happened in 2014 that contributed to the desktop shipment level’s meteoric growth?

Main image via Acer Philippines on Facebook

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Alora Uy Guerrero

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Editor-in-chief: Alora Uy Guerrero has 22 years of experience as an editor for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. She took time off journalism to manage OPPO’s digital-marketing campaigns. When not busy with her babies, she’s working on Revü, a passion project — or probably traveling or obsessing over her favorite bands, movies, TV shows, and basketball teams.