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Gartner Says Western Europe PC Market Grew 4 Per Cent in Fourth Quarter 2009
Apple Made Its Debut Among Top Five Vendors in France/ Acer Moved to No. 1 Position in Western Europe and Three Major Countries in Europe
"For the first time in 2009, it was in the fourth quarter that we saw the three major countries in Western Europe posted growth," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner, based in the UK. "The Western European PC market performed better than expected. Despite the tough economic conditions the consumer PC market provided vendors with a source of growth. The vendors that were able to execute their strategy clearly benefited from the consumers' propensity to purchase PCs."
Acer moved to the No. 1 position achieving 33.9 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 (see Table 1). "Outside the top five vendors, we saw Apple, Samsung, Lenovo and Sony post significant growth compared to a year ago. Collectively, these vendors are increasing share and putting considerable competitive pressure on the top five vendors," said Mr Atwal.
While 2009 was underpinned by the consumer PC market, Gartner expects a resurgence of the professional PC market to bolster the PC market in 2010. "Windows 7 migration will act as the catalyst for replacement activity in the professional PC market in 2010," said Mr Atwal.
UK: PC Market Saw Growth in Fourth Quarter 2009 for the First Time in a Year
PC shipments in the UK totalled 3.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of 3.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2008 (see Table 2). In 2009, PC shipments reached 12.5 million units in the UK, representing a 3 per cent decline from 2008.
"The UK PC market showed growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 for the first time in the year," said Mr Atwal. "The PC market in the UK has also become heavily dependent on mobile PCs as they accounted for 70 per cent of the total PC market. The consumer mobile PC market continued to dominate the market with growth reaching 24 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009. The continued uptake of mininotebooks has been the driving force providing an ideal platform at the lower price point for the consumer."
The professional PC market remained weak declining 25 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009. "It will be the last segment to recover," said Mr Atwal. "However, we should expect demand for Windows 7 to capitalise as its migrations start in 2010."
In the fourth quarter of 2009, Acer moved to the No. 1 position growing 32.2 per cent while HP and Dell exhibited a 7.1 per cent decline each. Samsung closed the gap with Toshiba with an increase of 3.1 percentage points in market share yearonyear. Samsung's performance was the result of strong demand in both its mininotebooks and competitively priced mainstream notebooks.
France: Apple Made Its Debut Among the Top Five
PC shipments in France totalled 3.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of 4.5 per cent compared with the same period in 2008 (see Table 3). In 2009, PC shipments reached 10.8 million units in France, a 1.7 per cent increase from 2008.
"The fourth quarter showed the strongest PC growth in France last year," said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner, based in France.
The mobile PC market accounted for 64 per cent of total PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2009, with volumes increasing 8 per cent yearonyear. Deskbound PCs declined 1 per cent despite high demand on allinone desktop models.
"In the fourth quarter of 2009, the consumer PC market remained buoyant with 15 per cent growth yearonyear. This market was driven by strong mininotebook demand and large number of vendors increased their mininotebooks shipments during the quarter," said Ms Durand. Gartner estimates that of all mobile PCs shipped 20 per cent were mininotebooks in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The professional PC market declined 10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009. The demand from businesses remained weak due to IT budget reductions and ongoing extension of desktop PC life cycles. The decline in the professional desktop PC market will continue through most of 2010 as adoption of Windows 7 deployments in this market will not start before the end of 2010.
In the fourth quarter 2009, Acer moved to the No. 1 position reaching 24.7 per cent of market share and growing 16 per cent. Its performance was the result of aggressive pricing on both lowend notebooks and mininotebooks. Asus exhibited the second highest yearonyear growth, and it shipped more standard notebooks than mininotebooks in the fourth quarter.
Apple made its debut among the top five PC vendors displacing Toshiba. Apple performed well in the mobile PC market despite the company's decision not to enter the mininotebook market. Apple refreshed its iMac and Mac Mini lines which bolstered desktop PC sales during the quarter.
"Increased competition in the mobile PC space is expected in 2010, with the prospect of affordable ultrathin and light notebooks, and new tablet PCs," said Ms Durand.
Germany: PC Market Returned to Growth and Acer Moved to No. 1 Position in Fourth Quarter 2009
PC shipments in Germany totalled 4.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of 9.9 per cent compared with the same period in 2008 (see Table 4). In 2009, PC shipments reached 12.7 million units in Germany, representing a 4.2 per cent growth from 2008.
"Despite increasing PC volumes, the market in Germany continued to suffer from decreasing revenue streams," said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner, based in the UK. "Enduser spending in 2009 declined 10 per cent compared to last year. If this trend persists, this will lead to further consolidation in the PC market in Germany."
In the fourth quarter of 2009, the mobile PC market saw an increase of 12 per cent yearonyear. For the first time in the year, desktop demand increased during the quarter by 6 per cent. The professional segment showed slight signs of recovery with a decline of 5 per cent yearonyear.
The demand from the consumer sector remained strong. Driven by the mininotebook segment, it exhibited an increase of 12 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009. This trend continued to be reflected in vendor performances. In the fourth quarter of 2009, every third mobile PC purchased by a household was a mininotebook. Acer and Asus especially profited from this trend.
Acer moved to the No. 1 position in the fourth quarter of 2009 as a result of lowpriced mainstream notebooks and strong performance in the mininotebooks segment, where sales reached more than 100 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2009.
HP, ranked in the No. 2 position, saw a 13 per cent decline in the fourth quarter of 2009. HP's poor performance was due to weak demand in the mobile PC market. Although it maintained its lead in the desktop segment, in the professional market, its growth was 8 percentage points behind the overall average market. "This could change towards the second half of 2010, as large organisations return to invest, which should help HP regain market share," said Ms Escherich.
Ms Escherich concluded: "2010 could turn out to be the year for the PC industry. Allinone desktops with touchscreen, mininotebooks, affordable ultrathin and light notebooks, and the new tablet PCs should help reinvigorate buyers' interest in PCs."
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