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PC sales strong in EMEA, but margins disappearing

Big names hang on to top spots but bottom lines are under attack from cheap PCs

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PC shipments rose 15.5 per cent to 7.08 million units in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) for the second quarter, with sustained demand in both business and consumer markets, according to IDC. Western Europe continued to drive the region's PC market, with sales rising 18.4 per cent to almost 5.9 million. Compaq kept its place as EMEA's top vendor, with 1.2 million shipments and 17.2 per cent of the market for Q2. IBM claimed 677,000 shipments and 9.6 per cent of the sector. Dell came a close third with 672,000, and 9.5 per cent. Hewlett-Packard had 517,000 and 7.3 per cent of the market for the quarter. Eastern Europe showed good signs of recovery after last year. Western Europe saw especially strong growth for servers and notebooks, IDC said. The UK consumer market stayed solid, driven by the Web and competition in the ISP arena. However, it's not all champagne celebrations for the PC sellers of EMEA. Profits and margins for the region were hit by cheap PCs and increased competition in the notebook market. Karine Paoli, EMEA PC Tracker program manager for IDC, said: "The Internet and cheaper PCs fuelled the demand for PCs on the consumer market. On the business market, Y2K compatibility remains a strong accelerator. It stimulated corporate renewals in the previous quarters and is expected to drive the small business sector in the second half of the year." ®

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