EMEA PC market maintains modest growth in Q4 2010
All markets have been affected by the popularity of media tablet devices.
The PC market in the EMEA region recorded a modest year-on-year growth in Q4 2010, with a 2.4% increase in shipments, slightly below the forecasted 4.3%, according to the IDC.
PC sales have been affected by the introduction of the new media tablet devices and a total of 31.5 million PCs were sold during the quarter.
PC sales were stronger in the first half of 2010, so growth for the year closed at 12.8%, with over 110 million PC units shipped across EMEA in 2010.
"The hype around media tablets ramped up towards Christmas, as expected, and despite the launch of Samsung Galaxy and Toshiba Folio, Apple continued to dominate European retail with the iPad," said Eszter Morvay, research manager of IDC's EMEA Personal Computing group. "The robust popularity of media tablets led to further deceleration in mini notebook volumes as well as mainstream notebook demand due to constrained disposable income. The lackluster interest in notebook renewals continued to fuel inventory build-up, despite slower sell-in in preparation for Sandy Bridge."
Shipment levels in Western Europe remained low, due to weak consumer demand and shipment totals declined for this region by 7% year-on-year.
The increasing popularity of media tablets, particularly during the Christmas period led to an overall 10.5% decline in consumer PC purchases.
Netbooks were the most impacted by media tablets, showing a 29% drop in sales year-on-year. Sales of mainstream notebooks were also affected seeing a year-on-year increase of just 0.5%. Traditional desktop sales also suffered a severe drop of 19%, while growth in all-in-ones also slowed to only 1.8%.
"The PC market in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) recorded a year-on-year volume growth of 21.5% in Q4 10 to total 12.3 million units. Portable PC shipments, however, suffered from high inventory in the channel in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the previous quarter, which inhibited growth in the notebook space to 27.0% in 4Q, falling short of the 33.2% forecast. Vendors such as Acer and Asus had among the highest stock levels of notebook vendors in 3Q," said research director Stefania Lorenz, IDC CEMA. "The desktop market reported healthier growth than forecast, however, at 10.4% year on year, thanks in part to HP's push. The Middle East and Africa reported stronger results than anticipated, with year-on-year growth of 14.1% and 28.8% for desktops and notebooks, respectively, in 4Q10. The African region grew the most, boosted by several large PC deals."
Commercial sales fared better, but following three quarters of rebound, growth returned to negative trends at -1.1%.
The SMB segment is still feeling the effects of economic pressure and uncertainty, many companies are delaying the purchase of new PCs and prolonging life-cycles of their computers, according to IDC.
The performance of PCs across the commercial market performance varied across countries, with a major drop in Spain and a decline of 3% in the UK, while Germany and France remained positive.
Central Eastern Europe maintained healthy growth as markets are recovering and recorded a 20.4% increase year-on-year. Growth in the Middle East was strong and outpaced expectations with a healthy 22.9% year-on-year.
"While the arrival of new media tablets in 2010 caused some disruption in the traditional PC industry in the second half of the year, likely to continue in H1 11, it represents a major opportunity for the industry as it will drive device expansion and multi-equipment further, said associate vice president Karine Paoli, IDC EMEA Systems Infrastructure Solutions. "In the short-term, those devices will disrupt somewhat the traditional PC market space, but with no cannibalisation expected with notebooks or ultra portables, which will remain the needed platforms for full computing for both consumer and business users, new media tablet devices constitute in the long-term a major opportunity for expansion for all vendors in the industry, and for those in particular that manage to establish themselves successfully in this new product segment and balance an extended device portfolio effectively."
HP closed the final quarter of the year with strong results and managed to consolidate its leadership in EMEA across all subregions. The vendor also regained the number one position in the EMEA portable PC market. HP reported a healthy 8.1% growth, outpacing the overall EMEA market growth.
Acer came in second on the vendor growth list, remaining constrained by Q4 inventory levels. The company recorded a sharp drop in shipments. Acer also suffered from a hefty decline in mini notebook demand.
Dell kept a solid performance, maintained by their growth in emerging markets, particularly in the Middle East and Africa. Western Europe dragged their overall performance down due to slower than expected commercial demand.
Asus remained in fourth place thanks to healthy growth in Western Europe, despite further drops in mini notebook shipments.
Samsung has the strongest growth in the top 10 vendors and entered into the top five in Q4 2010. The strong growth was driven by expansion in CEMA as volumes remained constrained in Western Europe.