IDC Reports Continued High Levels of Demand For PCs in Europe, Middle East And Africa In Q1 ‘98

LONDON, UK, April 23 1998 –The personal computer market in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) suffered little hangover from a very strong fourth quarter with factory shipments growing by 21 percent over Q1 1997. Despite fears of high levels of inventory, factory shipments surged indicating unrelenting end-user demand.

"Pricing actions across the region played a significant role as the sub $1,000 dollar PC became a reality, following in the footsteps of the US, stimulating demand across all sectors" said Ian Darbyshire, manager of IDC’s EMEA Quarterly PC Tracker Program. The portable market was also significantly affected in some countries with dramatic price initiatives being employed to purge channel inventory. The effects of this were felt particularly in Eastern Europe, where portables were being dumped from the US by some vendors.

The leading pack of vendors continued to gain share at the expense of the local and smaller manufacturers, with Hewlett-Packard and Dell performing the best, growing well in excess of the overall market, something which was reflected in solid market share gains.

Market Highlights

All country markets performed well across Western Europe, with the Nordic region performing strongly on the back of tenders and continued growth of sales through the business to home schemes, something which is set to boost the market throughout the year.

Eastern Europe also performed well overall with notable growth in Hungary and Bulgaria – it proved to be a testing ground for some vendors as new products were launched there in preference to Western Europe.

First Quarter Review

Compaq continued to reinforce its poll position in the EMEA market place with strong performances in all product areas. The only exception to this rule being Eastern Europe where local player Vist maintained market share as number one vendor, despite strong growth from international competition. Compaq continues to control the PC server market with a market share of nearly 32% across the region.

IBM had a softer quarter than other major players, although it maintained its second place in the market despite dropping nearly one market share point over Q1 1997. The slower performance was experienced mainly in the desktop area with portables showing much stronger growth.

Hewlett-Packard posted very strong growth at over 70%, gaining nearly two points of market share over Q1 1997. This can be attributed to considerable investment in manufacturing for its corporate desktop line combined with aggressive pricing actions. Despite the strong presence in the corporate sector, Hewlett-Packard is still having little impact in the consumer market in EMEA.

Dell continued to gain share in the EMEA market, being particularly successful in the desktop and PC server arena. The company has been extending its Web base sales initiatives in the region as well as ramping up sales in the workstation market.

The Vobis group, consisting of Vobis, Maxdata and Peacock, have reaped the benefits of consolidation with solid gains in aggregate market share moving the vendor into the top 5 for the region.

Top 5 Vendors, Europe Middle East and Africa PC Factory Shipments, Q1 1998 (Preliminary).

Vendor 1997, Q1 % Share 1998, Q1 % Share Growth

Compaq 690,055 13.0% 913,948 14.2% 32.4%

IBM 470,049 8.9% 516,747 8.0% 9.9%

Hewlett-Packard 280,568 5.3% 484,374 7.5% 72.6%

Dell 277,581 5.2% 460,577 7.2% 65.9%

Vobis Group 212,354 4.0% 344,902 5.4% 62.4%

Others 3,378,620 63.6% 3,703,515 57.7% 9.6%

Total 5,309,227 100% 6,424,063 100% 21.0%

Shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors. Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.

Vobis Group comprises Vobis, Maxdata and Peacock.

Source: International Data Corporation., Q1 1998

About IDC

Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., International Data Corporation provides IT market research and consulting to more than 3,900 high-technology customers around the world. With a global network of 375 analysts in more than 40 countries, IDC is the industry's most comprehensive resource on worldwide IT markets, products, vendors, and geographies.

IDC/LINK, an IDC subsidiary, researches and analyzes the home computing market, leading-edge technologies in telecommunications and new media, and the convergence of computing and consumer electronics.

IDC's World Wide Web site ( contains additional company information and recent news releases, and offers full-text searching of recent research.

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

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered.