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Weak demand hits EMEA PC sales

by Stuart Wilson, Monday 25 July 2011

Eszter Morvay, research manager for IDC's EMEA PC research
Eszter Morvay, research manager for IDC’s EMEA PC research

EMEA PC shipments were down 8.9% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2011 according to research house IDC. High inventory levels depressed PC sell-in with total unit shipments hitting 22.1 million. IDC also reckoned that users switching to tablets and away from PCs contributed to weak consumer demand and slow stock depletion in Western Europe.

"While inventory levels improved, slow consumer demand continued to prevent faster stock depletion and continued to inhibit vendor sell-in," said Eszter Morvay, research manager for IDC’s EMEA PC research. "Despite the seasonal impact of the back-to-school and Christmas periods, consumer demand is likely to remain lacklustre and geared toward media tablets, as a plethora of new models was launched in the second quarter with many more to follow in the coming months.”

“Broader product availability and choice will drive fierce vendor competition, which is likely to lead to a price battle, making these devices more affordable for a wider audience," Morvay added.

Western Europe shipments were down 20.9% year-on-year. Consumer PC sell-in slumped 32.2% in Western Europe as users moved in increasing numbers to buy tablets and smartphones. Commercial demand fared better and recorded a softer 4.3% decline, according to IDC.

Morvay added: "Although no major rollout has started just yet, we’re seeing very encouraging signs for Windows-based slate tablet adoption. IDC estimates that in the second quarter close to 20,000 slate tablets shipped in the Western European commercial segment, compared with just 5,000 during the same quarter last year.”

“Vertical sectors with field workers, such as utilities, transport, and healthcare, have always represented a key growth opportunity, and current product expansion and improvement could well support accelerated penetration," Morvay added.

Central and Eastern Europe saw PC sales up 11.4% year-on-year driven by strong notebook demand with countries such as Russia and Poland performing better than expected, according to IDC. PC shipments in the Middle East and Africa were up 12.2% year-on-year for the second quarter of 2011.

HP took top spot with unit shipments up 3.9% at 5.08 million units – a total market share of 23%. Acer maintained second spot but was severely affected by high inventory build-up accumulated over the past year, leading to a major contraction of vendor shipment levels again this quarter. Although Acer’s sell-in was significantly constrained, sell-out showed better results, driven by a major one-off boost of US$150m to help the channel shift inventory, according to IDC.

Dell was third in the vendor rankings with unit sales up 8.4% year-on-year at 2.53 million units. Asus and Lenovo took fourth and fifth spots with unit shipments of 1.97 million and 1.36 million respectively.


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