CEE PCs Decline for Third Year

2015 was one of the worst years on record for the PC market in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Shipments declined in double-digits (26.2%) for the third consecutive year, to 13.7 million units, according to IDC.

CEE vendors were unable to overcome obstacles, such as a poor YoY comparison to 2014 (when shipments were boosted by Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 with Bing promotion), and high channel stock levels caused by remaining Bing PCs.

The overall CEE consumer segment fell 27.6% YoY, while commercial shipments contracted 23.9%. Commercial shipments were also affected by a poor comparison, due to PC renewals resulting from Windows XP’s end-of-life in 2014, as well as low IT investments.

A combination of low oil prices and unpredictable currency fluctuations created ‘additional economic uncertainties’ across the Eastern part of CEE, especially in Russia and the CIS states. Together with high inflation, these factors led to poor consumer purchasing power and commercial IT budget cuts.

The decline will soften this year, said IDC programme manager Nikolina Jurisic. The economic outlook in the Eastern sub-region will remain an inhibitor, but better inventory levels and a stabilising economic outlook in the Central part of CEE will somewhat offset the decline. First-half shipment volume is expected to be lower than the same period last year, but the second half will exhibit signs of stabilisation.

The top three vendors strengthened their market position compared to 2014. Leader, Lenovo, performed above the market in both the consumer and commercial spaces. HP remained second, leading the commercial segment. Asus, in third place, suffered due to its focus on the consumer segment, which led to ‘significant’ annual declines.