PETALING JAYA: Industry regulator The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) 1Million Netbooks programme is keeping the local PC market up, according to research firm IDC.
The firm announced that the fulfilment of more than 300,000 mini-notebooks, under Phase 3A of the programme, is the primary contributor of growth that was recorded in the first quarter of this year.
According to IDC's Asia-Pacific PC Tracker report, in the first quarter of this year the Malaysian PC market registered an impressive sequential increase of 44%, to 1,103,000 units.
Without this programme, the local PC market would have stayed flat against the previous quarter because overall retail and commercial spending remained sluggish.
The programme is aimed at providing notebooks to poor students nationwide.
According to the IDC report, the commercial segment declined 22% quarter on quarter in Q1 2012, an expected dip due to a large mini-notebook delivery to Terengganu schoolchildren in Q4 of last year was not repeated in Q1 2012.
Market analyst for client devices research at IDC Asean, Ng Juan Jin, said the non-repeat of the Terengganu school project was not the only reason behind the lacklustre commercial spending.
"The government sector was particularly slow as well, declining 33% as federal spending was focused on community and social welfare projects rather than on IT infrastructure investment," he said.
Ng said the delivery of the final phase of the MCMC's mini-notebook project is expected in Q2 2012.
However, as the size of this rollout will be smaller than that in the earlier quarter - at just over 200,000 units - a drop in the total PC market in Q2 is inevitable.
"Enterprise spending from big enterprises and SME segments is expected to prop up the commercial market because there has been no word as yet regarding the rollout of large public sector projects," he said.
The large enterprises segment performed relatively poorly in Q1, with a decline of 22% recorded, because spending was held off after PC refreshment cycles conducted at the end of last year.
Excluding the MCMC mini-notebook project, the consumer segment fared relatively better compared to the commercial sector, growing marginally by 8% quarter on quarter.
The hard disk crisis stemming from major flood in Thailand last year, which restricted the supply of PCs after that, was resolved earlier than expected, and this allowed vendors to resume regular channel loading activity.
Chipmaker AMD also contributed to the growth of the consumer notebook market because it made headway in the low-end home segment by pushing its affordable models to price-conscious consumers, reported IDC.