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Global PC sales slump after six year high

IDC report states market growth in Europe, Middle East and Africa slowed to 'single-digits'

Worldwide sales of PCs have declined for the first time in six years a new research report by IDC has revealed.

According to the Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report, global shipments were down 0.4% (year on year) in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to the average 15% growth experienced in the last five years.

“Despite market optimism early in the fourth quarter, the pace at which the economic environment unraveled and the extent to which PC purchases were affected was faster than anticipated,” the report stated.

Preliminary figures suggest that HP presently has the lead in worldwide PC shipments with a market share of 19.2%, followed by Dell (15%), Acer (10.9%), Lenovo (17.4%) and Toshiba (4.6%).

In the EMEA region, PC market growth slowed to ‘single-digits’ with portables remaining an important driver, accounting for nearly 25%.

The regional desktop market has further declined, which is blamed on the increasing popularity of portables and a general slowdown in business renewals.

"It is tempting to argue that international markets will be less affected, or that low prices and the transition to portables will limit the impact, but the market has taken a serious hit...I won't be surprised if recovery gets pushed further into 2010 as this crisis unfolds," commented Loren Loverde, program director for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

HP and Toshiba were the only vendors that enjoyed growth in the EMEA region with increases in unit shipments, while Acer, Lenovo and Dell saw a marked decline.

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