The latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Quarterly Personal Computers (PC) Tracker reports that the total PC shipments in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of 2016 (Q42016) reached approximately 482,506 units, which is 6.2% lower than the same quarter last year. The slowdown was driven by a significant decline in the commercial segment, which posted an alarming -10.5% year-over-year (YoY), while the consumer market weakened by 4.1% YoY.
It is not surprising that the PC market shrank in 2016, given the challenges Malaysia faced in the second half of 2016, which ranged from supply chain setbacks, inventory issues, to an unfavorable economic climate. “The currency depreciation in the last six months inevitably affected PC sell-in shipments in Malaysia,” says Feras Ibrahim, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC Asia/Pacific. “As a result, shipments in the commercial segment dropped significantly and in parallel, retail experienced a slow sell-out, leaving some inventory piled up for the new year,” adds.
In terms of product categories, the notebook market outperformed desktops in 2016. Notebooks continued to have dominant market share in both product categories, related procurements for several small public and enterprise projects, helped the notebook market maintain at least a flat (-0.5%) YoY performance. On the other hand, the desktop PC market in Malaysia dropped 13.7% vs last year, mainly affected by longer PC refresh cycles despite fresh deliveries of shipments to the commercial space. As expected, the desktop market suffered in both the consumer and commercial segments as more end users gravitated toward mobile devices, namely, notebook PCs.
2016 was a challenging year for the Malaysian IT landscape. The government implemented the goods and services tax (GST), the local currency devaluated, and vendors such as Toshiba exited the market. In 2017, the PC market is expected to decline by 8.1%, with Q12017 expected to drop by as much as 11.1% vs the same period last year. The next general elections, which is expected to be held in mid-2017, will also have an impact on the PC market.
“The elections will bring anxiety to the market due to its unpredictable outcome, commercial end users will withhold PC purchases until the elections are settled” continued Ibrahim. But there is an upside to this challenge as major vendors and influencers are continuously innovating, and bringing great products to the market, such as ultraslim notebook devices, convertible notebooks, and gaming PCs,” he added. These form factors are expected to drive volume and sales in the future. Additionally, PC gaming in Malaysia is showing signs of hope and will continue to be one of the highest revenue-generating products within the PC category.