Q3 results saw PC sales by volume across EMEA decline 7.7 per cent compared with the same quarter last year, according to IDC.
But the analyst said the weak sell-in levels were expected – not least because vendors are waiting for the release of the Windows 8 OS. Western Europe as a whole declined 12.8 per cent year on year, although France and the UK held up better, sliding only 2.5 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.
"Following a strong Q2, and as vendors prepare for the Win 8 transition, shipment levels were set to be moderate in July-August, and while September was boosted by the production of new Windows 8 systems in preparation for the launch end October, the channel remained cautious," said Beatriz Martin, research analyst for IDC EMEA personal computing division.
Q2 had been relatively strong, leading to "sizeable" inventory in the channel through the summer, alongside soft consumer demand. September sell-in picked up, and attractive new product – such as ultra-slim notebooks – is expected to hit retail at the end of this month. So far, the channel and the rest of the supply chain has remained cautious.
"Business demand also slowed down during the quarter as enterprises' migrations and renewals slowed as expected, and SMB demand remained weak, directly impacted by continued economic pressure leading to cautious budget spending and restrained infrastructure investment," added Martin.
HP kept its lead, taking an 18.1 per cent bite of the market, and Acer came second with 12.6 per cent. The best performer was Lenovo, which grew 26.5 per cent in the quarter to take a 10.7 per cent share.
"[Lenovo] continued to drive solid growth and share gains across all sub-regions, driven by continued expansion in the consumer space in western Europe, while continuing to drive robust expansion in CEE as well as in the Middle East and Africa," Martin said.
The stats are from IDC's EMEA Quarterly PC Tracker.
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