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DICT to play critical role in bolstering growth of PH PC market: IDC

4th generation Intel core processors usher in new wave of 2-in-1 devices. (Photo by Melba Bernad)

The new Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), once fully established, will play a critical role in bolstering the growth of the Philippines PC market which shipped  518,645 units in the first 2016, posting the highest shipment levels since 3Q 2014, according to IDC data.

Healthy shipment levels in 1Q 2016 can be attributed to the consumer segment’s increased uptake of notebook PCs pegged at 56% YoY on the back of bullish consumer spending. Entry-level notebooks were the biggest volume drivers in the consumer market during the quarter.

In contrast, the election season impacted the commercial PC market, causing it to decline by 17% YoY in 1Q 2016. The quarter saw delayed PC deployments for government projects and requests for bids held off. During the same period, the enterprise sector adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward major investments and spending. But this standstill is expected to change in the coming quarters as opportunities for the commercial PC segment will begin to flow again once the new administration has settled in.

The transition from desktop PCs to notebooks became more pronounced in 1Q 2016 as more and more end users embrace a mobile lifestyle. “The continued push of PC vendors in the entry-level notebook space, the proliferation of WiFi zones in public establishments, and the growing on-the-go culture of the working class are compelling consumers to consider portable PCs more than stationary ones,” said Sean Paul Agapito, Associate Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC Philippines.

While this trend has been observed in the consumer segment for several years now, the transition is gradually reaching the commercial sector. The commercial desktop market declined 27% YoY in 1Q 2016, while the commercial notebook market grew 24%.

A Positive Outlook for the Rest of the Year

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IDC sees growth in the first quarter as an encouraging prelude to a positive market performance for the rest of the year. While the global PC market continues to contract due to sluggish economic growth in most regions and the ongoing shift from PCs to smartphones as the preferred computing device (especially in developed countries), the Philippines is among the countries that will continue on a growth track. From a regional perspective, the Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia that will see growth in 2016.

“Although short-term uncertainties and seasonality may impact growth of the PC market, the country’s momentum toward ICT adoption will remain strong in 2016,” Agapito said.

This positive ICT outlook is a result of various elements overlapping to create an environment conducive to business growth, such as favorable macroeconomic trends, rise of millennials in the workforce, impact of the IT-BPO industry, and demand from small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Once fully established, the new Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will also play a critical role in bolstering the growth of the Philippines PC market. “The creation of a centralized ICT agency will set the Philippine ICT market on a clearer and more cohesive direction and make the country an even more attractive investment destination for market players, both local and global,” Agapito added.

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