According to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker, the 4Q12 shipments of Malaysia PC market increased by 22 per cent to 768,000 units quarter-on-quarter. The growth was the result of Phase 4a of MCMC’s mininotebook project. Seasonal public sector spending also accounted for part of the QoQ growth. However, the retail market reflected yet another weak quarter of consumer sentiment as Windows 8 did not make a significant impact on PC purchases. Tablets and smartphones were also competing aggressively for end users’ wallet shares in this time period.

Total commercial shipments spiked by 98 per cent QoQ in 4Q12, with 352,000 units recorded. According to Ng Juan Jin, Market Analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia/Pacific, “The MCMC project and Ministry of Education shipments were the main contributors to the strong performance of the 4Q12 commercial market. 120,000 mininotebooks were shipped under the MCMC project while over 40,000 desktops were deployed as the Ministry of Education spent its year-end budget.”

The consumer segment declined for the 3rd straight quarter, dropping 7 per cent QoQ to 416,000 units. Windows 8 failed to live up to expectations as consumers and channels played a wait-and-see approach before making any commitments. Juan Jin adds, “The only encouraging aspect of the Windows 8 launch was the enthusiastic acceptance of touch-based notebooks. However, the severe shortage of these form factors limited any potential growth in the 4Q12 market as stocks ran out by early December. On the channel side, efforts were still being made throughout the quarter to push out stocks of ageing Windows 7 models. This in turn meant that only conservative amounts of new Windows 8 devices could be brought in.”

IDC has increased its upcoming 1Q13 PC forecast to reflect a 25% sequential growth on the confirmation of a 310,000 mininotebook commitment under Phase 4b of the MCMC initiative. However, remaining public sector and enterprise spending should wind down after a bullish Q4. Retail activity is expected to improve as component shortages for touch screen notebooks are overcome and vendors bring in new inventory. Daniel Pang, ASEAN Research Manager, Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific says, “Persistent shortages of touch panels were a primary factor in the sluggish uptake of Windows 8 PCs. However, the signs of encouragement are there, buoyed by strong demand for affordable touch-enabled notebook models. As panel makers ramp up production we can expect to see a gradual rise in availability of touch notebooks which will likely give the PC market a much needed lift.”