PC sales are getting better, better all the time

IDC on Germany and UK markets

The UK PC market has experienced its highest rate of growth -17.4 per cent year on year - since the third quarter of 2000, according to market researcher IDC. The key drivers of growth remain consumer spending and the increased preference for mobility. Sales of notebooks soared 39.6 per cent, while desktops have grown 9 per cent overall.

The consumer spending boom has not yet abated in the UK and continued to have a substantial impact on PC shipments in the third quarter, according to IDC. The consumer notebook market again recorded record growth, with brands sold through Dixons and PC World stores enjoying particular success. IDC adds that the prices of these notebooks have dropped significantly. Many home PC owners therefore choose to either complement or replace their existing desktop PC with a notebook.

Commercial PC shipments have been led by notebook growth of 25.8 per cent. The majority of growth in this area was seen from small and medium businesses. Although still not up to the growth rates of the smaller business segments, large corporate PC rollouts are picking up momentum as budgets are made available for the upgrading of ageing equipment.

Some vendors did very well this third quarter. For the first time since the HP-Compaq merger, Dell has claimed leadership of the UK PC market, with a 22 per cent share. Dell now leads in both the desktop and notebook form markets. HP has dropped to second position with a share of 18.4 per cent. The vendor's performance in the desktop market has had a particularly negative effect.

The German PC market, meanwhile, also performed better than expected in the third quarter of 2003. Sales of desktops and laptops soared 13.8 per cent from a year ago, IDC says.

Continued price declines and aggressive marketing campaigns characterised the portable market once again. The notebook market reported unit growth of 58.5 per cent year on year, but only 16.4 per cent growth in value terms. IDC expects a further erosion of prices in the near future, with stabilisation only expected in the second half of 2004.

The German desktop market, however, remains weak. The negative trend was strengthened in particular by home buyers, who spent 7.3 per cent less on desktop PCs. Business spending on desktops, however, grew 1.1 per cent.

The x86 Intel server market recorded a growth of 21.2%, driven by intense competition between the vendors. Though HP maintained the leadership, Fujitsu Siemens is clearly closing the gap, while Dell, IBM, and Maxdata have also enjoyed strong double-digit performances.

Fujitsu Siemens maintains a clear leadership in the overall German PC market and continues to increase its market share in both the notebook and x86 server spaces. HP maintains second place in the German PC market with 11.7 per cent growth year on year.

The German brand Medion continued to increase the gap between it and its competitors, maintaining a clear leadership in the consumer desktop market, with 30.7 per cent share. Its aggressive price offerings and the "Volk PC" image have helped the vendor gain market share and recognition among PC users. The company is also increasing its presence in the notebook space. ®

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