PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) reached 20,8-million units in the fourth quarter of 2015 — an 18,2% decrease year on year, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
After a strong shipment push of devices under Microsoft’s Bing promotion from summer 2014 to January 2015, the focus for hardware manufacturers and their channel partners has been to deplete stock, leading to an 18% contraction for 2015 with 76,3-million PCs shipped in EMEA.
In 2014 PC shipments were driven in commercial by the end of Windows XP support as well as the need to renew the first Windows 7 portables four years after their deployment, while in the consumer segment Bing successfully targeted the needs of price sensitive users. The strengthening of the US dollar also led partners to gamble on cheap products in the fourth quarter of 2014.
But 2015 turned into a very costly year for all of them as inventory clearing not only took eleven months but also strong promotions and price reductions. Year on year comparisons were therefore unfavourable during 2015 and the introduction of new technologies such as Windows 10 or new CPUs failed to reverse the trend. But it is not all bad news– as there are some signs of stabilization and 2015 results will support a more positive comparison in 2016.
“The market contraction was to be expected,” says Chrystelle Labesque, associate director, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. “However, if you take Bing out of the comparison, the consumer market would end the year flat, which is an encouraging sign of stabilisation.”
The combination of various economic and political factors led all three sub-regions to contract in 2015Q4. Western Europe (WE) declined by 13,1%, while in line with expectations, Central and Eastern Europe CEE) contracted 24,7%.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) had the weakest performance, as shipments were down by 28,9%. In Western Europe, the UK consumer market reported the best result, while in the commercial segment some public spending in particular in Austria and Italy supported shipment volumes.
A sharp decline in oil prices together with currency and political instabilities affected the CEMA region in particular, while the slowdown in the Chinese economy is worsening the business outlook in export-oriented Western European countries.
Looking at the full 2015 performance, WE was down by 13,8% over 2014, and CEMA by 24,6%. At the same time, market consolidation becomes more obvious as the top three players (HP, Lenovo, Dell) accounted for 54% of the market in 2015 versus 50% in 2014.
While there were some changes in the ranking, consolidation continued with the top five vendors now representing more than 72% of the market.
HP performed slightly better than the market and gained further share at 23,7% in EMEA. The vendor results in desktop were above average and contributed to the positive difference.
Lenovo maintained second position. The vendor was focusing on inventory depletion and suffered in the difficult MEA context.
ASUS reached 3rd place and showed strong growth, in particular in Western Europe. Overall the vendor posted good results after a weaker 2014.
Dell grew faster than the market and consequently gained share in EMEA. The vendor continued to gain share thanks to a strong execution in the commercial area and an attractive product portfolio.
Acer posted a softer performance, in part due to an unfavourable year-on-year comparison. The vendor focused further on inventory reduction while gaining traction on its Windows 10 consumer products.
Outside the top five vendors, Apple continued to outperform the market and ranked sixth. Toshiba ranked seventh, facing various challenges. Fujitsu performed better than market average but maintained eighth position followed by MSI and Wortmann.