While PC Sales Remain Affected By Fragile Economic Conditions and Slow Business Demand, Healthy Back-To-School Sales and A Strong Notebook Market Helped Drive Volumes

LONDON – OCTOBER 21, 2002 – According to preliminary data released by IDC, PC shipments grew by 3.3 percent in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) in the third quarter 2002 compared with the same quarter last year. In line with forecasts, the market returned to moderate positive growth, against -9.4% recorded in the third quarter last year.

 

Cautious attitudes continued to prevail in the corporate sector, and although essential renewals are taking place, driving both desktop and notebook sales, signs of a major recovery remain limited. Sustained demand from small and medium businesses continued to help limit volume erosion.

On the consumer side, demand for notebooks remained strong, while a rebound in desktop sales contributed to a return to healthier trends. Aggressive pricing in the retail channel helped stimulate purchases during the back-to-school season.

Notebooks continued to display healthy growth and remain a key area of intense competition between vendors. Mobile products will continue to represent the largest growth opportunity in EMEA as wireless developments and a rebound in corporate rollouts drive stronger double-digit growth in 2003.

Intense vendor competition and continued price pressure across all market segments contributed to drive volumes, despite an adverse impact on industry margins.

Western Europe displayed marginally better results than anticipated, with a return to soft single-digit growth after five consecutive negative quarters, but market conditions remain difficult. Germany continued to be affected by weak economic conditions, despite indications of moderate improvement, while the recent elections contributed to a "wait-and-see" stance among businesses. In France, the market remained constrained by slow business investments, while cautious attitudes also continued to prevent a faster rebound in the UK market.

"A gradual recovery in corporate investments will contribute to driving a return to healthier growth patterns for 2003,".said Karine Paoli, IDC's EMEA Personal Computing Expertise Center Manager. "But market conditions will remain tough and vendors will need to continue to focus on more effective go-to-market strategies and be very close to their customers," she added.

Vendor Performance Highlights

The "new HP" maintained clear leadership in EMEA and displayed a healthy performance considering the current completion of the merger, weak economic conditions, and intense vendor competition in both the business and consumer markets. A well-executed product transition also helped the vendor to remain strongly positioned in the region.

Dell continued to outperform the market and consolidate its number two position in EMEA. The direct vendor continued to maintain pressure on the corporate market as well as expand into the SMB and consumer markets, recording strong performance in and outside the UK, including France and all German-speaking markets.

Fujitsu Siemens displayed a healthy quarter, returning to positive growth across all form factors, with strong performance especially in the notebook and Intel server markets. Good product positioning, strong back-to-school sales, improved distribution channel strategy in the SMB market, and continued focus in the mobile computing space contributed to the vendor performance in the region.

IBM recorded sustained results during the third quarter. Affected by weak corporate demand, IBM however continued to address the SMB market very successfully. Strong performance in the commercial notebook market with over 15% growth was driven by strong product and price positioning, as well as an effective go-to-market strategy in both the corporate and SMB markets.

Acer displayed another strong quarter in EMEA, consolidating its position in the overall ranking. Continued and successful focus on the SMB and notebook markets, as well as a close relationship with its channel partners are among the major contributing factors for Acer's success.

Top 5 Vendors, EMEA PC Shipments, 3Q02 (Preliminary) ('000 Units)

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

Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.

(1) Data for HP includes HP and Compaq combined for 3Q01 Source: IDC EMEA, Preliminary Results 3Q02, October 2002

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