PC Shipments in EMEA Stabilized During the First Quarter of 2014, Says IDC

LONDON, April 17, 2014 — According to International Data Corporation (IDC), PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) reached 21.8 million units in the first quarter of 2014, which resulted in a decline of 1.1% in comparison with the same quarter last year. The EMEA market stabilized as Western Europe returned to growth at 8.6%, supported by an upturn in business demand across the region, which drove a strong 15.1% increase in the commercial space, while consumer also returned to more stable trends showing growth of 2.1%.  At the same time, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) remained partially impacted by high inventory and currency fluctuations and declined by 16.7% while MEA saw an 8.4% drop in shipments as parts of the region continued to suffer from political unrest. Total EMEA shipments have now been declining for seven consecutive quarters, but the pace of contraction slowed considerably this quarter; despite areas of improvement, the market has not yet fully recovered. Desktop PC shipments increased by 1.4%, while portable PCs continued to contract by 2.6%.

"The end of Windows XP support was a major driver of the commercial rebound, and supported renewals mainly in the desktop area. In the European Union, as the macroeconomic outlook improved, companies started to invest in IT again after many quarters of postponing decisions. In other parts of the region political unrest and negative exchange rate evolution were inhibitors to market growth," said Chrystelle Labesque, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "The first quarter of 2013 was marked by a strong decline, leading to a favorable year on year comparison in the consumer segment. Desktop and portable PCs with new features like touch generated higher interest among end users after years of delaying purchases.  However, consumer shipments remained constrained."

PC shipments in Western Europe posted growth, benefitting particularly from a very strong increase in commercial demand. The end of Windows XP support, an aging installed base, and an increase in business confidence stemming from improving macroeconomic outlooks all contributed to stronger demand in the enterprise space and fuelled corporate renewals. For the fourth consecutive quarter, commercial PC shipments in Western Europe surpassed those in the consumer market, as traditional form factors remain key productivity tools in the enterprise environment. Desktop PC shipments were a clear winner, growing by double digits and showing that traditional desktops are still favored by businesses. For the first time in nearly two years the consumer market returned positive results, with shipments posting a slight increase year-on-year.

"The majority of vendors focused on close inventory management following problems they experienced with high stock amid rapidly declining demand a year ago. As a result, low stock levels allowed for quick and efficient introduction of new models and stronger sell-in during the quarter as consumer demand stabilized and led to increased intake of orders by retailers and distributors," said Maciek Gornicki, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "While consumers in Europe are still spending on tablets and smartphones, interest in desktop and portable PCs has increased again recently, as some end users start to purchase PCs again after years of delayed renewals."

"According to expectations, the overall PC market in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa recorded a year-on-year decline of 12%," said Stefania Lorenz, associate VP, IDC CEMA Systems. "The regions' market mix reported quite different results from previous predictions, however. The CEE region contracted further, recording a year-on-year decline of 17%. Many factors inhibited PC market growth: political unrest in major markets, economic uncertainty and high unemployment, topped with unfavorable exchange rates were all causes for slowdown and budget restrictions.  The MEA region, on the contrary, performed better than expected, though still at minus 8% on a year-on-year comparison." 

"In the first quarter of the year the portable PC market recorded a yearly contraction of 20% in the CEE region, with Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan reporting a major slowdown," said Nikolina Jurisic, Product Manager, IDC CEMA Systems. "The desktop PC market declined by 11% year-on-year, the commercial market was able to perform slightly better compared to the consumer space, but not enough to balance the overall results. Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary all reported overall positive results mostly driven by demand within the commercial space. The MEA region saw a slightly better result in the consumer space, with very mixed results for the country dynamics in the region."

Vendor Highlights

HP posted a strong quarter in both the consumer and commercial markets, growing in WE and MEA. A favorable year-on-year comparison and numerous product launches explained part of the success. Furthermore, the continued execution of the new strategy paid dividends.

Lenovo continued its expansion across EMEA and outperformed the market with an increase of 33% in total shipments.  Lenovo was also able to increase shares in all three subregions. Key elements of the success included wide product offer, channel coverage and execution of the "attack and protect" strategy.

Dell took the third place, achieving another strong quarter.  The vendor fully leveraged from its commercial strength and benefited also from investment in building an indirect channel in the latter quarters.  Shipments grew in WE and MEA.

Acer ranked fourth. Results were in line with the market in the portable PC area across most of the region, the quarter also being a period of transition for the vendor, with several refreshes and a new portfolio coming up next quarter. The vendor is also focusing on growth in tablets as well as on a stronger engagement in the commercial market.

Asus kept its fifth place thanks to growth in notebook shipments and a strong increase in the desktop area.  The vendor gained market share in the region, building upon product innovation and leveraging from launches after shortages in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Outside the top 5 vendors, Toshiba remained in sixth place facing the challenges of a slow consumer market. Apple, in seventh position, fared well despite an unfavorable yearly comparison when 2013Q1 was boosted by a backlog of the new All-In-Ones. Fujitsu took over eighth place with good results in the desktop or in overall commercial space, depending on the country.  Sony shipments declined in the region following the recent announcement of its exit from the PC market. Samsung closed the top 10 ranking in EMEA with another quarter of decline due to disinvestment from mainstream portable PC and a switched focus on Chromebooks and high-end Ultrabooks.

For more information on IDC's EMEA Quarterly PC Tracker or other IDC personal computing research services, contact Associate Vice President Karine Paoli on +44 (0) 20 8987 7218 or at kpaoli@idc.com. Alternatively, contact your local IDC office or visit www.idc.com.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.