The PC market in Malaysia dropped 18 percent in Q1, compared to the same period last year, according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker. However, the 898,000 units sold in the quarter represented an 18 percent growth in sequential quarter.
A major delivery of mini-notebooks nationwide under the government’s Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) project was the only notable event in an otherwise lacklustre quarter. The education and enterprise segments both posted declines after flushing their budgets last quarter.
Retail spending on PCs was also curtailed by distractions from Chinese New Year festivities and the influx of smartphones and tablets into the market. However, the positive response to touch-based notebooks in retail was a notable silver lining in a gloomy retail climate.
“The growing market share of touch-enabled notebooks in Q1 is an encouraging sign for the PC market. Response has been positive so far as the touchscreen function provides consumers with a new and enjoyable user experience. The outlook for this form factor is positive due to the availability of a wide array of low-end models which appeal to the local mass market,” said Ng Juan Jin, Market Analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia/Pacific.
However, this alone is insufficient to improve growth in the PC market. “The upcoming quarters for Malaysia will be difficult as retailers continue to face challenge, though the difficulties in the market will be somewhat glossed over by the government’s commitment to IT investment in education,” said Daniel Pang, ASEAN Research Manager, Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. “The MCMC mini-notebook programme is set for an extension in Q2 while the Ministry of Education is partnering with YTL Communications to deliver Chromebooks to schools nationwide under the 1BestariNet initiative.”
Lenovo emerged as the top vendor this quarter as it fulfilled a significant portion of the MCMC project. Besides being a strong contender in the commercial space, Lenovo is also working on increasing its consumer market presence. By slashing the prices of its mainstream models and high profile advertising, it is aggressively targeting the consumer segment, which has so far been more receptive to players such as Acer and ASUS.