IDC: Rising EMEA PCs Mark Return to Growth

PC shipments in EMEA increased 10.4% YoY in Q3, to 23.7 million units. As the second consecutive quarter of rising shipments, the result marks a ‘clear’ return to growth, says IDC.

Western Europe’s mature markets largely drove the growth. Portable PC shipments rose 13.5% due to strong consumer demand, supplemented by back-to-school purchases; the upcoming Christmas season; and attractive prices for notebooks with Windows 8.1 and Bing (demand for these units is expected to continue into Q4). Desktop shipments were also up (5.2%) over the same period.

Overall market trends were similar to Q2 in Western Europe, where shipments rose 22.7%. Affected by Russia’s unstable political and economic situation, as well as currency fluctuations, the CEE market fell 9%. MEA rose 2.1%. The growth is still not a recovery, however, as volumes remain lower than in previous years.

“Even if the differences between Western Europe and CEMA persist for obvious political and economic reasons, there are some common drivers, especially on the consumer side”, said IDC’s Chrystelle Labesque. “Inventory levels appear higher overall in the supply chain but, in line with higher expectations after a good back-to-school period, retailers and e-tailers are more confident about the holiday season business. In Western Europe renewals in enterprise were also further supporting the market”.

Q3 portable PC shipments in Western Europe were boosted by Christmas season preparations. PCs were renewed due to attractive prices, which also tempted students. The YoY comparison favours the consumer market, which last year fell 22%. Commercial shipments in Q3’13 were almost flat.

The impact of the Windows XP replacement cycle is now fading in the SMB sector, contributing to weaker renewals. However, larger enterprises are still launching new products. Commercial demand remained strong, as forecast, while business confidence was diverse across Europe. Commercial PC shipment growth was up 12.5% in Western Europe. In Southern Europe, the markets that were affected by the economic and financial crisis of the past few years have been recovering; Spain posted more than 40% growth and Greece, Portugal and Italy all rose more than 30%. France saw ‘limited’ growth, Germany outperformed the Western European average and the UK performed more in-line with the market.

Growth in CEE was hampered by an economic slowdown in the Eastern part of the region. IDC prefers to look at CEE by splitting it into Eastern (Russia and CIS) and Central (Poland, Czech and Slovakia Republics, Balkans and Baltic States) sub-regions.

For the second consecutive quarter, strong demand in the consumer and commercial sides led to double-digit growth in Central Europe. Both desktops and portables contributed to this, due to fulfilled deals and vendors pushing low-cost products. However, the Eastern area remains constrained, with a double-digit decline reported for the seventh quarter in a row. Public projects have been postponed; fluctuating exchange rates and uncertainty over the economy are also contributing to the declining commercial space. Consumer demand remains weak, as well.

MEA reported unexpected limited growth: 2.1% YoY. The PC market ‘only remained afloat thanks to the large education deals in Pakistan’, IDC writes. If these deals were excluded, the region’s PC market would have contracted by single digits, due to political instability and economic uncertainty.

The top three EMEA vendors accounted for more than 50% of the PC market, and the top five for more than 70%. HP led the region, with 16.8% growth and a 1% share gain. Consumer and commercial growth were both similar; the company’s new product portfolio, which includes many consumer products, has significantly helped the company’s performance in Western Europe.

Lenovo performed above market expectations across EMEA, with a share increase of 4.5%. The vendor’s progress is consistent across all three sub-regions, largely due to consumer space gains and leveraging channel partnerships with SMBs.

Acer posted 37% growth, with a favourable YoY comparison. Share was up almost 3% in the portable market. Dell’s growth was lower (sub-7%), with a softer quarter compared to the market. The vendor could not fully leverage its commercial strength and continued to miss out on the consumer rebound. Finally, Asus performed above the market average (17.4% growth). It continued to catch up in the desktop area and posted ‘solid’ portable PC results.

Apple ranked sixth, with positive consumer results in Western Europe. Toshiba, at seventh, experienced limited growth. Fujitsu came in at eighth after a difficult quarter; MSI was in ninth; and Wortmann took the final place.