Notebooks continue to drive EMEA PC market growth in 1Q03
Personal Computer (PC) shipments grew by 4.5 percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the first quarter 2003 compared with the same quarter last year, according to preliminary data released today by IDC.
Although some positive signs are indicating a gradual pick up in business renewal cycles, market conditions remain difficult and price declines continued to assist volume generation. The corporate market continued to display, as anticipated, slow investment patterns. Essential renewals are taking place but spending remains cautious and non-critical upgrades postponed to the second half of the year or into 2004.
Small and Medium Businesses’ purchases continued to drive overall sales across all form factors, remaining a key battlefield for all international or local vendors. More resilient to the overall economic and geopolitical environment, the SMB market also directly benefits from the current competitive environment and more attractive prices.
On the consumer side, the quarter displayed a mixed performance, with consumer confidence falling short in some countries towards the end of the quarter, as a result of the international situation and overall economic concerns. The market continues, however, to be driven by the shift towards mobile PCs with fierce competition continuing to take place in the retail channel.
Notebooks clearly continued to drive overall PC sales, recording even stronger results than expected during the first quarter (over 20 percent year on year), as a result of a major push from all vendors and continued price erosion. Clearly becoming a key focus for all vendors, notebook sales continued to record strong double-digit growth, driven by fierce competition across both business and consumer channels. Intel Server sales also performed slightly better than anticipated, driven by strong SMB sales and some corporate renewals.
Although market conditions remain difficult in most countries, there are some positive signs. While Germany remains constrained by slow economic conditions, the UK is showing more sustained business investment levels. Southern Europe is also performing well and some employee purchase schemes are helping generate volumes in the Nordics.
Continued growth in Eastern European markets also directly contributes to overall EMEA performance. “Forecasts for the year 2003 are maintained at 5.7 percent. Corporate renewals are expected to gradually pick up towards the end of the year, but companies will continue to adopt cost-saving strategies and focus on essential upgrades only”, said Karine Paoli, Research Director, IDC’s EMEA Personal Computing Group.
“Now, in terms of product mix, forecasts for notebooks could well be revised upwards, in unit terms, if the market continues to respond positively to declining prices, and reach higher growth levels than the 15 percent initially expected,” she added.
While HP maintains the gap, Dell and Acer continue to outperform the market, both recording strong double-digit growth. Local players displayed patchy performance but continue to play an important role as the market remains highly fragmented and competitive in the SMB space.
HP retains a clear leadership in EMEA and continues to hold the first position across all form factors. Performance was however below market growth as a result of fierce vendor competition and despite aggressive pricing strategies, which however clearly maintained pressure for all other vendors.
Dell continued to outperform the market, recording this quarter an outstanding 22.3 percent year-on-year growth. If the direct vendor benefited from a strong performance in the UK, continued expansion through an effective push strategy outside the UK and across all market segments clearly assisted the vendor’s overall performance with over 20% growth in many countries across the region.
Fujitsu-Siemens displayed another positive quarter. Performance was particularly strong in both the notebook and Intel server space- with over 50 percent and 30 percent growth respectively. Improved focus on the SMB market, more effective channel strategy and competitive product positioning have clearly contributed to the vendor’s results in the region.
Acer again recorded outstanding results in EMEA, with over 38 percent growth, and maintained the fourth position, gained in 4Q02, in the overall ranking. Acer’s performance continues to be driven by strong SMB and notebook sales across the region (notebooks representing over 50 percent of the vendor’s shipments), aggressive pricing and close relationships with its distribution partner network.
IBM managed to maintain positive performance despite the lack of business spending and fierce vendor competition in both the corporate and SMB markets. The vendor held well in the desktop and notebook markets, although below market growth, thanks to competitive pricing, and recorded strong double-digit growth in the Intel Server space. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)