Consumer Sales Are Driving Western European PC Market, IDC Says

LONDON, FEBRUARY 28, 2000 — Consumer PC sales, which have largely been considered by vendors as a dead area and highly unprofitable since the mid-1990s, are currently growing faster than business sales. IDC's latest survey shows that with a compound annual growth rate of over 15% between 1998 and 2003, consumer sales, along with small businesses, will be driving the Western European PC market for the foreseeable future, while larger businesses take a back seat.

"A sharp drop in prices — down to as little as $600 for entry-level desktops — has attracted a new range of home buyers," said Catherine Pennington, research analyst for IDC's European Personal Computers program. "In addition, there is a large installed base of old equipment in homes needing upgrading, which people can now do cheaply." The European consumer market is likely to be stirred up further by the arrival of Dell, which plans to make its first onslaught in the near future.

The other key market driver for consumer PC sales is the Internet. A surge in useful Web content, such as online train timetables, as well as a greater acceptance of the Internet, is inspiring consumers to buy PCs for the home. The proliferation of free ISPs — spreading across Europe from the United Kingdom, shows that ecommerce preparation is in full swing.

At the other end of the spectrum are sales to large businesses. "In some countries, such as Denmark, there is now 100% saturation. Additionally, heavy renewal rates over the last few years and the budget drain due to Y2K and euro conversion have lead to a low demand for replacement," Pennington said. IDC expects growth to fall to 11.5% in 2000 for companies with more than 100 employees.

Personal Computers in Western Europe, 1998-2003 Forecast Update (IDC #JP02F) contains a comprehensive forecast of PC shipments and accelerators/inhibitors for each of the 14 individual countries and for the region as a whole. The report presents detailed forecasts by user group, distribution channel, desktop/notebook, and processor platform. Installed base figures by user group are also provided. This report is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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