Strong December sales and continued portable adoption drive EMEA PC sales growth to another solid 19% in the final quarter of the year, says IDC

LONDON – JANUARY 20 , 2006 – In line with expectations, the EMEA PC market displayed solid growth in the final quarter of the year, expanding by 18.9% year on year in 4Q05, according to preliminary data released today by IDC.

Boosted by strong consumer sales and the continued momentum in the notebook space, shipments rose to 22.3 million units across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Continued growth in the CEMA region also contributed to a solid year and boosted overall shipments in EMEA to close to 70 million units for 2005.

"The final quarter of the year performed as expected, driven by intense marketing activity during the Christmas season and continued portable adoption, and provided a nice finish to the year, boosting EMEA shipments ahead of the US market levels for the first time," said Karine Paoli, research director for IDC's EMEA PC group. "Consumer demand for notebooks remained unabated, assisted by aggressive price points in the retail channel and there is no sign of slowing down in 2006," she added.

Notebooks continued to drive overall growth across the region with shipments rising by close to 40% compared with the same quarter last year.

Consumers continued to respond very positively to very attractive price points but portable demand in the business space remained very strong too.

Rather high inventory levels placed in the channel since November also contributed to boost sales in levels in this final quarter of the year.

The desktop market maintained positive trends albeit moderate at 9%. Demand for digital entertainment systems coupled with attractive bundles continued to stimulate consumer desktop purchases and renewals. Commercial desktop sales remained soft as in the 3rd quarter, directly impacted by slowing business refresh activity and desktop replacement trends in the SMB space.

All regions performed in line with forecasts. Western Europe posted a solid 15% growth in 4Q leading to 16% for the full year, while ongoing infrastructure investment and strong demand for notebooks continued to boost sales to in CEE and MEA to over 25% and 38%, respectively.

"The EMEA PC Market recorded yet another strong performance in the fourth quarter," said Elsa Opitz, research manager, EMEA PC Tracker. "Buoyant retail sales during the Christmas season and a thriving notebook market fuelled high volumes across the region. In Western Europe, countries in the Southern hemisphere enjoyed a particularly good end of year, with Italy and Spain recording over 25% growth overall, while the Nordic countries also beat expectations. Of the three largest markets France and the UK maintained healthy growth at 14% and 13% respectively while Germany delivered more moderate trends at 8%. Expansion in the Central Europe and Middle East Africa PC markets continued at a vigorous pace, with robust double-digit growth recorded across the entire region. Poland and Ukraine recorded particularly strong performances while Russia, the largest market, maintained solid growth above 20%. Growth of 38% in MEA markets was boosted by an outstanding quarter in Turkey and continued investment in the Middle East countries.

Price pressure remained high across all channels and market performance will remain much more subdued in value terms.

Vendor Highlights HP maintained leadership in EMEA with a healthy performance driven by strong notebook results across both the consumer and commercial segments and an effective channel strategy. Desktop sales displayed softer results as the vendor suffered from slower trends and fierce competition from Dell in the commercial segment but performed well in the consumer space.

Dell continued to gain share across EMEA, recording solid double-digit growth in both the desktop and portable markets, in a close tie with HP in the commercial segment. The direct vendor maintained an aggressive customer acquisition strategy across all segments, and continued to gain share in the consumer and SMB segments thanks to active marketing and attractive pricing deployed over the quarter.

Acer maintained momentum in the notebook market thanks to a strong product portfolio and attractive price points meeting the demands of consumers and SMBs, while continuing to grow desktop sales although performance is mixed across the region. The vendor also continued to expand in CEMA with outstanding progression in Central Eastern Europe.

Fujitsu-Siemens posted another strong quarter and maintains a solid 4th position in EMEA. The vendor continued to deliver a strong performance in the portable space, as well as in the consumer space, thanks to its continued focus on mobility and a strong value proposition around the digital home.

NEC/Packard Bell took the 5th position in the overall EMEA ranking following a steady progression throughout the year. Packard Bell continued to reinforce its position in the retail channel across Europe and successfully capitalized on the current boost in consumer demand while NEC benefited from healthy commercial desktop sales. Geographical expansion outside Western Europe also contributed to the vendor's success.

Lenovo fell to 6th position as the vendor did not benefit from the consumer boost during this final quarter of the year and was impacted by slower business trends than last year. Performance was nevertheless sustained in the notebook space where the introduction of new ThinkPad products assisted healthier results.

Outlining notebook market strength, Toshiba, Apple and Sony all posted strong results. But Asian oriented notebook manufacturers such Asus, Samsung or BenQ continued to gain share in EMEA as anticipated, with Asus placing itself in 9th position in the overall EMEA ranking and in 7th position in the EMEA notebook market, outlining a challenging competitive environment which is not likely to slow down in 2006.

Top 5 Vendors: Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) PC Shipments

Fourth Quarter 2005 (Preliminary) (000 Units) (Embedded image moved to file: pic12053.jpg)

Source: IDC EMEA, Preliminary Results, 4Q05, January 19, 2005

Top 5 Vendors: Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) PC Shipments

Full Year 2005 (Preliminary) (000 Units) (Embedded image moved to file: pic16962.jpg)

Source: IDC EMEA, Preliminary Results, 4Q05, January 19, 2005

Shipments are branded shipments for all form factors (including desktop and notebooks) and exclude x86 servers as well as OEM sales for all vendors.

Data for all vendors is reported for calendar periods.

For more information on IDC's EMEA Quarterly PC Tracker or other IDC Personal Computing research services, contact Research Director Karine Paoli, +44 (0) 20 8987 7218, or email Alternatively, contact your local IDC office.

About IDC

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