Consumer laptop sales help PC market to modest growth

Acer, Dell do well in Europe as HP declines - Dataquest

The PC market in Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recorded modest growth during the fourth quarter of 2002, of around six percent.

Preliminary results from Gartner Dataquest suggest an estimated 13.1 million PCs were sold in the EMEA region last quarter, up 6.3 per cent from 12.277 million units in Q4 2001.

The analysts reckon consumer demand for laptops and notepads was behind the modest upturn. Corporate sales were slow, so most vendors concentrated on sales to smaller businesses.

Brian Gammage, principal analyst at Gartner Dataquest, said: "We don't expect corporate PC demand to be bolstered by a strong replacement cycle during 2003. Most commercial organisations will continue to sweat their PC assets, replacing existing units on a needs basis only."

For the year 2002 as a whole, PC shipments in EMEA grew three percent compared to 2001. That means we're back to figures last seen during 2000.
Gartner Dataquest expect growth figures to remain at about six or seven per cent throughout this year.

Looking at figures for individual vendors reveals underlying shifts in the market.

Acer continued to record the region's highest growth rates, overtaking IBM to reach the fourth ranked position in the market. Gartner Dataquest estimates it sold 683,000 units in Q2 2002, up 29 per cent on the 530,000 PCs it sold in Q4 2002, to claim a 5.2 per cent stake in the overall market.

Gartner Dataquest believes "Acer's gains were driven by its low-cost pricing strategy and the ongoing expansion of its distribution network."

Dell also outgrew the market (with sales up 12.9 per cent to 1.197 million units for Q4 2002) but continued to miss out on the strong growth in consumer PC demand outside the UK.

Hewlett-Packard, meanwhile, saw shipments decline during the fourth quarter, as "product roadmap transitions and rationalisation of its distribution network impacted its performance".

HP sold an estimated 2,253 units down 12.7 per cent on the 2,581 PCs it (and Compaq combined) sold in Q4 2001. Small comfort, then, that it's still the leading vendor in EMEA with a market share of 17.3 per cent. ®