Notebook sales surpass desktops by 2007 as the Dutch increasingly opt for mobility, says IDC

LONDON, UK – JUNE 2, 2006 – According to IDC's latest forecasts, the Dutch PC market will expand by a solid 10.6% average annual growth rate over the next five years. Although the desktop market has become primarily a renewal market, booming laptop demand from businesses and consumers will drive continued expansion.

"Five years ago the Dutch were slightly more reluctant to invest in a portable PC than the rest of Western Europe, but since 2003 we have seen robust growth in the market fuelled by intense vendor competition and declining prices," said Eszter Morvay, a research analyst at IDC's EMEA Quarterly PC Research Group. "This catch-up trend is expected to continue boosting portable sales by an average 19.5% annually over the next five years." Directly impacted by this unabated transition to portable form factors, desktop shipments will record a soft 2.9% growth over the forecast period.

In line with forecasts, the Dutch PC market continued to demonstrate strength as overall unit shipments increased by 13.8% in the first quarter of 2006. Thanks to accelerated portable adoption, notebook sales drove overall market growth at 35.7%, while desktop shipments showed more subdued trends, though remaining positive at 2.2%. Competition in the top tier remained extremely fierce as vendors maintained focus on mobility and continued to deploy very aggressive marketing campaigns as well as price cuts to move the volumes that accumulated in the channel following the Christmas season. As a result, notebook prices in the Netherlands dropped by 18% in 1Q06 compared to a year ago, which clearly helped boost portable penetration.

Although overall growth will soften, the Dutch PC market will increase by a healthy 10.7% in 2006, before picking up again in 2007-2008, when the next wave of corporate replacement cycles will stimulate demand for both desktop and notebook form factors.

In 2006, desktop shipments will stagnate, recording a mere 0.4% growth. The outlook is directly impacted by increasing portable adoption across all segments and a lack of large-scale rollouts in the corporate market. Some consumer purchases could potentially shift to 2007 following Microsoft's announcement that it would delay the introduction of the consumer version of until January 2007. This means that Microsoft will have to miss out on the traditionally strong consumer push of the back-to-school and Christmas seasons at the end of this year. However, desktop forecasts for 2007 and 2008 have been raised slightly to 3.9% and 10.5%, respectively, to represent the delayed impact of Vista on overall desktop demand as well as the boosting effect of the next cycle of corporate refreshes.

IDC believes that notebook demand will continue to drive PC growth in the Netherlands over the next five years, with portable sales surpassing desktops by 2007. With demand remaining highly price sensitive, notebook sales will mainly be stimulated by declining prices, recording 26.9% growth in 2006. As the market is driven more by price than technology, the delay of Vista will not have a negative impact on notebook sales this year.

However, the new OS will increase demand in 2007, resulting in a slightly more positive outlook at 31.7%. While portable shipment growth in 2006-2007 will mainly be driven by consumer demand, the next wave of corporate replacements will boost commercial notebook sales in 2008.

Comprehensive IDC forecasts and analysis of the Dutch PC market are available, offering detailed insight into form factor trends and forecast assumptions for the next five years, as well as detailed market review and competitive analysis for 1Q06. For more information contact Eszter Morvay, +44 (0) 20 8987 7229, or

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