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New Delhi, Jan.25

PROPELLED by `better-than-expected' desktop sales in India and China, the Asia-Pacific computer market rose 13 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2004 to touch 9.1 million units, even as the market remained largely unaffected by the tsunami that hit South and South-East Asia late last month.

"Total Q4 2004 PC shipments arrived slightly above expectations, partly riding on better-than-expected desktop sales in large country markets such as India and China. All APEJ countries achieved positive year-on-year performance in Q4 2004," according to an IDC release.

Interestingly, the PC market was not impacted by the devastating tsunami that hit during the end of December, IDC said adding it did not expect the tsunami to have a large impact on the Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) PC market in the first quarter (2005) as the negative effects were mostly limited to the local tourism industry, although the potential spread of disease remained a wild card in the outlook.

Elaborating on the quarterly performance, IDC said, in India, the seasonal spurt in PC purchases was slightly muted this quarter as commercial users postponed their purchases in anticipation of price drops following the introduction of the new WTO tariffs in 2005.

At an Asia Pacific level, the top five PC vendor rankings changed slightly this quarter. "Dell moved ahead of IBM to take third place this quarter, largely riding on its commendable performance in China, thereby displacing IBM to fourth. Lenovo, a China-based company that acquired IBM's global PC division towards the end of the year, continued its firm hold on the top position , while HP strengthened slightly in second place. Founder remained in fifth place ."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 26, 2005)
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