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Context offers post-HP PC analysis

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 25 August 2011

Research house Context has offered some insight into what HP’s decision to head for the exit door in the PC and tablet space really means for the European distribution channel. Context reckons that the channel is well positioned to cope with the disappearance of HP revenues, highlighting the fact that the vendor’s share of Europe PC distribution sales has fallen from 44% at the beginning of 2008 to 31% by the end of 2010.

"Although many analysts had suggested the possibility that HP would eventually leave the PC business like IBM did, nobody expected a decision so soon after HP’s investment in Palm and the launch of the TouchPad tablet PC," commented Context CEO and co-founder Jeremy Davies.

According to Context, Europe’s distributors have seen PC revenues diversify in the last few years as new vendors made their presence felt in the category. At the beginning of 2008 an average of five vendors made up 80% of PC sales for distributors. By the end of 2010, this had climbed to seven vendors as more manufacturers embraced an indirect route-to-market utilising the distribution channel in Europe.

At the end of 2009, 30% of all PCs shipped by vendors in Europe went through distribution with this figure climbing to 34% by the end of 2010. HP’s share of total PC distribution revenues has also been falling in Europe since 2008 as vendors such as Apple, Lenovo and Samsung boosted their sales through the channel.

At the beginning of 2008, HP accounted for 44% of total European distribution PC revenues. By the end of 2010, this had fallen to a low of 31%, according to Context.

"This is, of course, still a significant share," added Davies, "but we’re seeing strong performance from other PC vendors and expect them to easily pick up any business HP will be leaving behind.”

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