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EMEA props up global PC market

by Stuart Wilson, Monday 28 July 2008

Worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2008 were up 15.3% year-on-year according to the numbercrunchers at IDC. The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region played its part in driving global growth, helping to offset sluggish growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Total worldwide PC sales hit 70.644 million units in the second quarter of 2008. EMEA PC sales were driven by notebook demand across the region and the additional momentum created by new ultra low-cost offerings. The strong Euro and aggressive competition continued to support PC purchasing despite rising energy costs, according to IDC.

"Despite the economic headwinds, the PC market continued to show its resilience," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s worldwide quarterly PC tracker. "Product refreshes, vendor competition for channels, and aggressive pricing add to the ongoing trend toward portable computing in attracting buyers.”

“The steady growth, despite the pressure on consumer finances, reflects the increasingly important role of PCs within personal technology, and steady improvements in price and design. Nevertheless, economic pressures are mounting and PC market growth is expected to decline over the next year. The relatively strong PC market in recent quarters does not mean that the sector is immune to the changing economic environment," added Loverde.

David Daoud, research manager for personal computing, said: "As expected, the US market had a sluggish performance, with growth in low single-digits due to budgetary constraints among both consumers and businesses. Despite a tough economic environment, some vendors executed well, in particular Dell with its channel and retail expansion. Given the current economic fundamentals, demand could remain depressed in the coming quarters if economic pressures continue, even with sustained price decreases.”

HP maintained top spot in the global second quarter rankings grabbing 18.9% of the global market, selling a13.322 million units in the second quarter – up 16.8% year-on-year. IDC reckons that HP is well placed, claiming that ‘[HP’s] extensive product refresh leverages HP’s leadership position and should help the company target specialised niches.’

Dell grabbed second spot outpacing the market growth rate in all regions with strong gains in both EMEA and Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan). In total, Dell shifted 11.56 million units – up 21.4% year-on-year. With a clear channel strategy in place and a focus on retail expansion, IDC reckons that Dell can boost volumes even higher in future.

Acer’s rapid global growth continued unabated in the second quarter. Unit sales were up 64% year-on-year at 6.966 million units with EMEA accounting for approximately half of global shipments. Lenovo took fourth spot and Toshiba picked up fifth place with both vendors gaining traction in the EMEA market.

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