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Business PC demand rises in Western Europe

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 11 November 2016

The latest data from research firm CONTEXT has revealed that 5.28 million PC units were sold through the Western European distribution channel in the third quarter of 2016 - up 0.8% year-on-year. Notebooks accounted for 3.93 million units, desktops 1.27 million units, with the remainder made up of PC workstations. CONTEXT revealed that sales of business PCs and detachables were on the rise while consumer demand slumped.

The third quarter has been soft for personal system sales across Western European distribution with promotions used to clear inventory, but the business sector continued to see decent growth driven by notebook sales, according to IT research firm CONTEXT. Notebook volumes were up 3.5% year-on-year while desktops continued to drop, declining 5.9% year-on-year.

The business segment remained stronger, with overall sales up by 3.3% – driven by notebooks, which rose 8% year-on-year, while desktops declined 3%. There has been a small positive impact from Windows 10, although most firms haven’t transitioned yet. The bigger impact has come from availability of attractive, high-end thin and light products, CONTEXT revealed.

The consumer PC market continued to decline albeit at a slower rate than the previous quarter. Although there was growth in detachable and convertible mobiles, Chromebooks and gaming PCs, this wasn’t enough to offset weak demand for traditional systems.

In terms of vendors, HP was the clear winner in Western European distribution in the third quarter, with a year-on-year overall PC volume change of 13.8% thanks to strong consumer and business growth, to hit a distribution share of nearly 33%. Asus also did well, growing PC volumes 9% to reach a share of 13%, after a softer 2015. And Dell grew volumes nearly 27% thanks to a strong focus on the channel, albeit from a small base, to hit a 4.5% share of distribution sales.

Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at CONTEXT, said: “Going forward there are expectations in the business space of continued, moderate growth at the end of 2016 thanks to year-end projects and Windows 10 commercial sales will also begin to pick up at the end of the year and first half of 2017.”

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