EMEA PC Market Shows Slight Improvement But Vendor Competition Intensifies, Says IDC

LONDON, UK – APRIL 23, 2002 – According to preliminary data released today by IDC, PC shipments declined 1.5% in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the first-quarter 2002 year on year as a result of continued pressure in the market.


As expected, the market is showing limited signs of recovery, but vendor competition is fiercer than ever. Corporate investments remained very cautious, affecting both desktop and notebook sales, but essential renewals have been taking place.

On the consumer side, demand for desktops remained soft and no major rebound is expected before the second half of the year as the market remains inhibited by slow desktop replacement cycles. Notebooks, however, continued to boom, driven by strong competition in the retail channel.

Clear focus from the industry is placed on the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market. Demand from smaller companies was sustained and helped limit volume erosion, driven by ongoing renewals and fierce vendor competition.

The notebook market continued its momentum as expected, with growth of over 13% in EMEA.

"Notebook uptake among SMB professionals and consumers continued unabated," said Andy Brown, Research Manager for EMEA Mobile Computing at IDC. "Intense competition on specification and price, and the introduction of Pentium 4 onto the mobile platform in Europe, contributed to drive sales." The market for portable computers should see a further lift with low penetration and a corporate recovery helping to drive the market in the second half of the year, he added.

Trends in Western Europe were consistent and in line with forecasts, with a decline of 5.1% year on year. The three largest European markets showed signs of a slight recovery driven by SMB and notebook sales but the lack of a corporate rebound continued to prevent a return to positive growth. Eastern Europe continued to record healthy growth at 10.9% and the Middle East and Africa region displayed a strong recovery with 20.4% growth year on year.

Price component increases and vendor competition, however, make it increasingly difficult for vendors to maintain margin levels.

"This year will be another tough year for the PC industry," said Karine Paoli, IDC's EMEA Personal Computing Expertise Center Manager. "As corporate demand is expected to remain constrained by the current market conditions, and as there is little hope for a major rebound in the desktop consumer marketplace before the end of the year, greater emphasis is placed on the SMB market, and in particular for notebooks, with fierce competition and further margin erosion expected."

Vendor Performance Highlights Consolidation in the PC market continued, with the top five vendors representing nearly 50% of total EMEA sales. Regional or local vendors remain very active in the desktop as well as notebook market but face increased competition as international vendors improve competitiveness.

Compaq retained clear leadership of the overall PC market in EMEA and in the notebook market. Performance was healthy considering the weakness of corporate demand and the current completion of the merger with HP.

Dell continued to outperform the market, maintaining a volume of over 1 million PCs shipped in the region despite continued pressure in the corporate market.

The direct vendor continues its expansion into the SMB market but faces increased competition from indirect vendors.

HP maintained its third position in EMEA and managed to outperform market growth thanks to robust SMB and consumer sales driven by aggressive pricing in both the desktop and notebook markets.

Fujitsu Siemens showed a healthy performance, stabilizing its position in the business and consumer desktop markets, and continues to gain share in the mobile computing space with strong double-digit notebook sales.

IBM's performance is consistent with the vendor's strategic repositioning on the business market and move away from the consumer and low-entry market.

Performance was healthy across all product lines, with the continued success of its Top Seller program.

Acer continued to outperform the market thanks to a continued and successful focus on the SMB and notebook markets.

NEC CI recorded healthy growth, benefiting from a large employee PC scheme in France and a rebound in consumer sales in the UK as well as continued gains in the mobile computing space.

Toshiba maintained its second position in the notebook market and returned to positive growth despite intense competition.

Apple also returned to positive growth thanks to strong performance in the UK and France, its two largest markets.

Sony had a very positive quarter taking advantage of the strong demand for notebooks in the retail area and making a successful entry into the desktop market.

Shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

Data for all vendors is reported for calendar periods.

(1) Data for Compaq includes Compaq, Digital Equipment and Tandem products.

(2) Data for Fujitsu Siemens includes shipments for Fujitsu and Siemens.

(3) Data for NEC CI includes NEC and Packard Bell brands.

Source: IDC EMEA, Preliminary Results 1Q02

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.

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