The PC market in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) continued to display solid trends in the second quarter of 2007 as demand for notebooks, in the consumer and SMB segments in particular, remained a key driver across the region.
Notebook shipments recorded a solid 31% growth year on year and assisted a rise in overall PC sales by 13,5% compared to the same quarter last year, at 17,5-million units, according to preliminary data released this week by IDC.
The momentum in the notebook market clearly continued to assist healthy sales levels in the region. Driven by a large product offering, traction for new products, and very attractive price points and promotions in the channel, notebook sales recorded another solid quarter across EMEA.
Competition among the leading vendors, and from HP and Acer in particular, remained very active in the retail and SMB channels, assisting a buoyant marketing and promotional environment which directly helped stimulate purchases.
Desktop shipments grew minimally at 2,4% overall, as the shift to portables continued, preventing a faster rebound in the consumer market in particular, while corporate refreshes remained moderate. Desktop growth remained mostly driven by the continued expansion of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) and Middle East and Africa (MEA) markets, where desktop sales grew by 12% and 9% respectively, partially offsetting the market contraction in Western Europe.
"While portable adoption continues to drive growth across the region, with an obvious shift also seen in CEMA markets, the gradual replacement of a large consumer notebook installed base in Western Europe clearly contributes to the continued momentum observed," says Karine Paoli, research director for IDC's EMEA Personal Computing group.
"Those renewals will continue to fuel demand during the back-to-school and Christmas seasons with strong traction expected on new products and designs, while the competitive environment, not expected to soften, will maintain price pressure on entry-level systems."
With replacement demand increasingly impacting notebook market dynamics, "differentiation continues to be of vital importance with vendors paying increasing attention to branding and targeted advertising campaigns to position themselves in the market," says Eszter Morvay, senior research analyst for IDC's EMEA PC Research Group.
"The further shift to widescreen models, the rising share of desktop replacement notebooks from 17in. and above, the continued focus on design and aesthetics, and the accelerating dual-core shift will continue to shape notebook demand throughout the year."
HP maintained a solid performance and further reinforced its leadership in EMEA in during the second quarter with a robust 29% growth in overall shipments. The vendor continued to outperform the market across both desktop and notebook form factors, with a close to 60% increase in notebook sales, thanks to a solid product lineup, effective execution, and active marketing and promotional campaigns, which enabled HP to boost its share in both the consumer and business markets.
Dell continued to suffer from slow corporate demand and fierce competition from all vendors in the notebook space, and in particular in the consumer segment due to its absence in the retail channel. Growth, however, remained healthy in the CEMA region and the current redefinition of its strategy and product refreshes for the consumer and SMB markets should allow the vendor to reinforce its position moving forward.
Acer posted another strong quarter and continued to reinforce its position in EMEA with a solid 36% increase in overall shipments, almost closing the gap to Dell's second place. The vendor maintained clear pressure in the notebook market in Western Europe and in Central and Eastern Europe thanks to a strong product lineup and active pricing campaigns in both the retail and SMB channels, while it continued to grow its presence and volumes in the desktop market.
Fujitsu Siemens maintained a healthy performance in the notebook market in line with market growth, but the vendor suffered a decline in desktop shipments, and in particular in the consumer space, which affected its overall performance and led to a slight contraction of its total volumes.
Toshiba maintained fifth position in the overall EMEA ranking and sustained growth of its notebook sales, albeit at a slightly lower rate than the total market as the vendor faced intense competition from the leading vendors. The vendor continued to display a strong performance in the CEE region.
Lenovo and Asus, ranking sixth and seventh respectively, recorded strong performances. Lenovo maintained solid trends in both the desktop and notebook market, at 22% growth overall, while Asus continued to post outstanding growth and gain share in the EMEA notebook market.