Back-to-school demand and continued growth in the notebook segment has fuelled strong third-quarter growth in the EMEA PC market, but the UK is finding it tough.
According to IDC, the EMEA PC market increased by 20.2 per cent in Q3 2005, compared with the same period in 2004. However, the UK PC market remained relatively soft in Q3 as the cycle of corporate desktop renewals reached its conclusion. Strong consumer sales helped keep growth above 12 per cent.
“As expected, a strong back-to-school and buoyant marketing activity, along with attractive price points drove PC sales across the region,” said Karine Paoli, research director for IDC’s EMEA PC group.
“Consumer demand for notebooks remained unabated, assisted by aggressive promotions in the retail channel, while SMEs also continued to favour portable systems, leading to a solid 39 per cent growth of EMEA notebook shipments.”
Marc Engall, channel sales director at Elonex, said: “It is not just
back-to-school demand fuelling the growth, but also vendors preparing for the Christmas market. They have misjudged demand for the past two years. This has led to the strange situation of having too much stock in December, but not enough in January. As for notebooks, that is where all the innovation is taking place. Every laptop must be smaller, lighter and cheaper.”
Even though notebooks continued to drive overall growth across the EMEA, desktop PCs remained strong with a healthy 11 per cent jump in sales. IDC said that demand for digital entertainment systems, coupled with attractive desktop bundles, continued to stimulate consumer purchases.
However, commercial desktop sales softened and were directly hit by slowing corporate refresh activity and strong desktop replacement trends in the SME space. The situation was exacerbated by component shortages, especially chipsets.
IDC found that price erosion had slowed sequentially, but the decline is still significant with an almost 20 per cent drop in notebook prices compared with Q3 2004.
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