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EMEA PC Market Continues to Regain Momentum and Records Strong 22% Growth in 1Q10, Says IDC

(PresseBox) (London, ) The PC market in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa continued to regain pace after the improvement seen at the end of 2009, but recovery has even beaten expectations as shipments recorded strong 22% growth in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same quarter a year ago. The market clearly benefited from a favorable annual comparison after constrained market performance and a major drop in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) volumes last year, but shipment levels outpaced expectations. Growth in CEE was propelled to nearly 60%, while Western Europe continued to enjoy strong consumer demand for portable PCs and new allinone form factors also boosted desktop sales.

Portable PCs remain the key driving form factor, with shipments recording solid 32.2% growth year on year across EMEA, supported by a return to strong doubledigit growth in CEE markets, while consumer renewals fueled Western European growth. Desktop volumes also regained momentum, boosted by recovery in emerging markets and new allinone form factors, and returned to positive growth.

"The PC market in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa [CEMA] reported solid 39.4% growth year on year in 1Q10, accounting for a total of 9 million PCs, bringing the volume of PCs back to the levels seen in 2008, before the global economic crisis hit the region in 4Q08," said Stefania Lorenz, research director, CEMA Systems and Infrastructure Solutions. "In CEE, PCs recorded 58.6% yearonyear growth, driven by demand for both desktops and notebooks. Consumer demand saw a major improvement, and signs of recovery are also evident in the commercial space. Desktops reported a rebound of over 20%, but notebooks remained the driving force, recording 99% yearonyear growth. The Middle East and Africa region performed as expected, with desktops reporting a singledigit decline, while notebooks continued to gain share with a yearonyear increase of 48.5%."

Consumer demand continued to drive growth in Western Europe in 1Q, with growth stimulated by accelerating mainstream notebook renewals, while new allinone PCs supported consumer desktop sales. On the commercial side, the market has benefited from a more favorable yearonyear comparison, but demand is gradually picking up across both SMB and corporate sectors, contributing to positive commercial growth across both desktop and portable form factors.

"The consumer market remained buoyant in the first quarter, and while mininotebook sales stayed stable, most of the growth this quarter came from mainstream notebooks," said Eszter Morvay, research manager, IDC EMEA personal computing. "Mainstream notebook demand was forecast to regain momentum, but the market was boosted even further by strong vendor and channel push around Intel's new Core i platform. This has led to a refresh of all major vendors' product offering whose launch was coupled with major promotional campaigns, which supported increasing noise around computing overall. In addition, allinones, which experienced the first strong market uptake last quarter, also continued to gain traction, stimulating positive consumer desktop market growth to levels last recorded four years ago."

"While EMEA market performance benefited this quarter from a favorable yearonyear comparison with a volume catchup in particular in CEE, signs of recovery are nevertheless evident and very encouraging, while consumer demand seems to continue unabated," said Karine Paoli, associate vice president, IDC EMEA Systems and Infrastructure Solutions. "The commercial space has yet to recover more strongly in the second half of the year, but continued recovery of CEE markets and strength of the consumer market will remain key drivers over the next quarters, with a return to positive trends also expected in revenue terms."

Vendor Highlights

HP maintained solid leadership and further strengthened its position across both mature and emerging markets. The vendor benefited from the CEE market recovery and continued to drive share consolidation in Western Europe across both desktop and portable form factors. The vendor continued to deploy effective execution in the commercial segment while pushing further in the consumer space with an attractive and extended portable lineup and new allinone desktop form factors.

Acer recorded a strong first quarter driven by market recovery in CEE, and in Russia in particular, where the vendor had been severely affected in 2009, while the vendor continued to exert pressure in the rest of the region. Acer continued to drive share consolidation in EMEA, thanks to aggressive promotions in the notebook market and further push in the consumer and SMB segments, while it continued to grow its desktop sales and took second position in the desktop market this quarter.

Dell experienced a healthy rebound after slower trends through 2009, with growth reaching over 22% across EMEA, and gained share across both form factors. The vendor's performance was driven by strong expansion across both CEE and MEA regions. Performance in Western Europe also improved, though it was more modest as the vendor remained impacted by slow commercial demand and active competition in the U.K. market, but continued to drive increasing consumer volumes across the region.

Asus recorded the strongest growth among the top players, posting tripledigit growth across each subregion. The vendor benefited from a favorable yearonyear comparison after a slow firsthalf 2009 impacted by inventory in the mininotebook segment in particular. But the vendor made a strong push in mainstream notebooks and continued to drive increasing desktop and allinone form factor sales.

Toshiba posted softer growth in the first quarter, but did not benefit from a favorable yearonyear comparison due to healthy results a year ago. The vendor nevertheless faced stiff competition and aggressive pricing practices, particularly in the consumer notebook market, which was also a factor in constraining the vendor's performance.

Other vendors beyond the top 5 also recorded strong performances. Lenovo continued to reinforce its sixth position in EMEA, enjoying yet another quarter of robust growth, while Samsung's expansion in EMEA continued unabated. Ranking eighth and ninth respectively, Apple and Sony also continued to enjoy strong performances in the consumer segment. Fujitsu, however, continued to suffer volume contraction.

IDC Central Europe GmbH

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