Aggressive pricing drives Middle East PC sales in 2003
PC shipments grew by 9.8 percent in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) in the second quarter 2003 compared with the same quarter last year, reported IDC in recently release preliminary data. Growth came in slightly above forecasts, as the market responded positively to aggressive pricing activity.
The market remains constrained by economic uncertainty. Aggressive marketing campaigns from both international and local vendors, coupled with the depreciation of the dollar against the euro, have clearly helped to drive down prices in EMEA and stimulate demand. Declining prices, however, continued to affect revenue growth.
Corporate spending, although gradually picking up as expected, remained cautious. Some renewals are, however, taking place, and companies directly benefit from lower prices. The small and medium business segment continued to be a key battlefield and major volume focus for both international and local vendors.
Consumer sales continued to be driven by strong demand for portable PCs, supported by a growing entry-level offering and fierce competition in the retail channel. Notebooks continue to drive overall PC sales across the region, again recording stronger than anticipated results with over 30 percent unit growth, assisted by continued price erosion and fierce competition across both business and consumer channels.
As anticipated, many vendors continued to clear notebook stocks to make way for Intel Centrino-based systems. Notable currency fluctuations and continued declines in component prices, as well as for memory and hard drives, helped to drive down notebook ASPs, fueling the price war on mobile systems.
Pricing initiatives also took the front seat again in the X86 server space. Especially affected were the low-value segments and this translated into a significant sales boost. Renewed impetus in price declines continues to bring the entry segment of the X86 market closer to PC market dynamics, putting further pressure on margins and revenues.
HP retained a clear leadership in EMEA and posted double-digit growth in the second quarter. Aggressive pricing actions have clearly placed HP as a major competitive force for all other players during the quarter. Effective marketing campaigns and channel support, as well as a strong notebook product line, have also largely contributed to the leader's performance in the region and outstanding growth in the portable segment.
Dell continued to outperform the market, recording another outstanding quarter, with 31 percent year-on-year growth and strong double-digit results across all form factors. Continuing to implement an effective acquisition strategy in the corporate space, Dell also continued to gain share in the Small and medium business (SMB) and consumer markets, as well as to expand strongly outside Western Europe.
Fujitsu Siemens displayed a soft quarter, as the vendor remained affected by strong competition from HP, Dell, and Acer. Local players in the German consumer market also impacted the vendor's results. Nevertheless, Fujitsu Siemens recorded healthy sales in the business segment as well as in the notebook space, thanks to a continued focus on mobility and effective channel support.
IBM regained the fourth position in the overall ranking, displaying a healthy quarter; but this is compared with a weak quarter last year. Positive performance is nevertheless encouraging and is the result of competitive pricing across all business segments. However, IBM continues to face strong competition from all other vendors across all form factors.
Acer continued to record positive results in EMEA, with over 24 percent growth. The vendor dropped back to fifth position in the overall ranking, but regained the number two spot in the portable market behind HP. Acer's performance continues to be driven by strong SMB and notebook sales across the region. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)