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EMEA PC market recovery continues

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 23 July 2010

Research house IDC’s latest EMEA data points to a continued recovery in the region’s PC market. IDC reckons that second quarter sales were up 21.1% year-on-year with almost 24 million PCs shipped. According to IDC, the market exceeded expectations in both the commercial and consumer segments.

HP took top spot, shifting 4.87 million units in the second quarter – up 15.9% year-on-year. Acer’s unit sales climbed 20.5% to 4.80 million units – a 20% market share. Dell underperformed against the overall market growth, taking third spot with unit sales of 2.30 million. Asus’ unit sales soared 92.5% year-on-year – driven in part by the vendor’s netbook success – to take 4th spot with 1.99 million units. Toshiba picked up fifth, with year-on-year growth of 24.1% to hit 1.39 million units. The top five vendors accounted for more than 64% of the total market.

Vendor insight

Acer recorded a strong quarter, driven primarily by continued recovery in the Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) region, according to IDC. Acer maintained leadership and pressure in the portable PC market across both mainstream and mini notebook segments, while it continued to drive share gains in the desktop space.

Dell continued to benefit from the business market recovery, reaching 10% growth overall, but growth slowed compared with the previous quarter, as the company suffered in Western Europe from declining consumer notebook sales.

Asus recorded the strongest growth among the top players, driven by the CEE market recovery. Performance across Western Europe was also strong, with an increased push of both mainstream and mini notebook product lines into the channel, while reaping the benefits of a more dedicated sales organization.

Toshiba maintained fifth position in the overall ranking, and following a soft start of the year enjoyed a healthy upswing at over 24%. The vendor benefited from the recovery in the CEE region and strengthened its position in Western Europe, gaining share across both consumer and commercial segments.

Outside the top 5 players, several vendors recorded strong performances. In sixth position, Lenovo recorded an outstanding 70% growth, driven by major expansion in CEE and the healthy uptake in commercial demand in Europe, while further increasing its footprint in the consumer market.

Samsung reinforced its seventh position in the EMEA ranking, with strong performance primarily driven this quarter by the vendor’s expansion in the CEE and MEA regions, while growth softened in Western Europe. The vendor launched its first all-in-one product, thus entering the EMEA desktop market.

Apple and Sony continued to leverage strong consumer demand and branding, while Fujitsu remained constrained overall, but gained share in the commercial desktop segment in Western Europe, benefiting from the ongoing desktop renewals across several countries.

Robust performance

"While European economies remained challenged by a potential new wave of crisis across the eurozone, as well as pressure to curb public spending to reduce deficits, the PC market continued to deliver a robust performance in Western Europe," said Eszter Morvay, research manager for IDC’s EMEA personal computing unit.

"Market dynamics were driven by the gradual rebound in the business space as companies re-engage on hardware renewals, and by continued strength in the consumer market fuelled by mainstream notebook renewals," she added.

Growth in Western Europe hit 15.1% year-on-year, driven by a gradual rebound in business renewals and continued strength in the consumer market. CEE continued to recover and recorded a strong increase of 53.7%, while growth in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region hit 16.4%. Portable PCs continued to drive growth across EMEA, with 26% growth year-on-year, while desktop sales benefited from uptake in commercial demand and new all-in-one systems.

Stefania Lorenz, systems and infrastructure solutions research director at IDC CEMA (CEE plus MEA), said: "Recovery in the CEMA region continued as expected, and PC shipment growth reached a solid 33% year on year. Central and Eastern Europe recorded the strongest growth at 53.7%, driven by both desktops and notebooks.”

“Evidence of a recovery is clear in both the commercial and consumer spaces across all countries in the CEE region, with the highest growth levels recorded in Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Slovakia for instance. Growth in the Middle East and Africa performed in line with forecasts at 16.4%, with the African continent outperforming the Middle East, reporting annual growth of 34%," said Lorenz.

In Western Europe, mainstream notebook renewals continued as engine of growth for the second consecutive quarter, while demand for mini notebooks slowed further, with volumes contracting in Western Europe, according to IDC.

Morvay explained: "With the renewal of a large notebook installed base having been put on hold for the past 12 months, many users are now looking at replacing their main platform. This latest renewal cycle of primary PCs is also stimulating a revival of consumer desktop demand, supported by the attractive price-performance ratio of standard desktops as well as new appealing all-in-one systems."

Karine Paoli, associate VP IDC EMEA systems and infrastructure solutions, commented: "The first half of the year confirmed a strong recovery in the EMEA PC market, and while global economic conditions will remain challenging, the outlook for the second half remains positive, and will be driven by the continued rebound in business and consumer renewals."

"Emerging markets will continue to recover and start expanding again, while mature markets in Europe will benefit from acceleration in commercial refreshes and continued strength in consumer demand. And while a major focus is likely to remain on mainstream notebooks in the back-to-school season, new media tablets are likely to add momentum during the Christmas season, further boosting multi-equipment trends," Paoli added.

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