The notebook market remains the big opportunity after European prices, which fell sharply in the second quarter, continued to fall throughout Q3.
Prices across the PC sector continued to go down in September, according to market analyst IDC, thanks largely to the relentless erosion of notebook prices.
Prices for Q3 2003 are down more than 20 per cent on the same period in 2002.
Notebook prices declined by 1.7 per cent between August and September, contributing to a significant 10.6 per cent drop between Q2 and Q3.
IDC claimed that despite reduced margins, notebook vendors are still using price cuts to compete and generate business in all sectors.
The consumer front is the main battleground, with retailers emphasising notebooks. Sales in this sector for Q3 are predicted to increase by half year on year.
The falling prices have helped stimulate growth in the business arena, especially among SMEs.
Growth in the business sector across EMEA is forecast at 29 per cent year on year.
Massimo Melis, senior research analyst in IDC's European Personal Computing Group, said: "Following a Q2 characterised by strong price elasticity, PC vendors, as expected, continued to battle for share and generate demand throughout Q3 by means of aggressive pricing and marketing strategies.
"While Hewlett-Packard and Dell continued to drive price levels in the business space, increasingly stiff competition between international and local vendors in the retail arena fuelled price deterioration even further."
Loay Lawrence, business manager at Ideal Hardware, said: "Notebooks are still the place to be and there has been a lot of uptake in the SME market in recent months.
"That said, prices are stabilising a bit now and even rising slightly, but that's because they had fallen to such a low point that they had to level out some time. Demand is still very high, though."
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