The EMEA PC market crashed by more than a fifth in Q2 as the channel struggled to run down inventory, according to IDC.
High levels of inventory and slow consumer demand constrained new purchasing by channel partners during the quarter, the market watcher said, fuelling a 22 per cent fall in shipments annually to 19.6m.
Chrystelle Labesque, research manager of EMEA personal computing at IDC, said the quarter would have been even bleaker had it not been for an uptick in activity in June.
"The second quarter continued to be affected by large inventory in several countries," she said.
"April and May were weak as expected, as most vendors, retailers and distributors focused on stock reduction. While June was supported by starting replenishment ahead of the back-to-school and product transitions, the volume of new orders remained constrained as caution prevailed."
The UK PC market fared among the best in Europe, although it still shrank by 14 per cent annually in Q2, ahead of the western Europe average of 21.2 per cent and the figures in both Spain and France, which shrank annually by 43.7 per cent and 20.9 per cent respectively.
Low demand for Windows 8 has taken the blame for the shrinking PC market in the past, and IDC said today that the transition to the new OS "remained slow", and that new technology such as Intel's Haswell chip "did not create any measurable impact" on sales of lighter notebooks either.
Investments in the commercial space were "very cautious" in Q2, according to IDC, which said slow renewal rate directly affected both vendors' and countries' results.
Despite this, next April's end of support for Windows XP is expected to generate stronger PC demand for businesses, with the renewal cycle expected to sustain commercial sales in the second half of this year.
HP, Asus and Acer experienced annual double-digit decline in Q2, while Dell's annual PC sales across the region slumped by nine per cent over the same period. Second-place Lenovo – which trails HP by 5.6 percentage points – was the only vendor to grow annually, posting a sales spike of 19 per cent, helping it to close the gap on the market leader.
IDC claimed Lenovo bucked the trend by gaining share in both the consumer and business space through its expanded product portfolio.
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