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PC market set for return to growth

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The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) traditional PC market (desktops, notebooks, and workstations) continued to stabilise in the first quarter of 2017, with the market posting modest growth (1,6%) and totalling 17,4-million units.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), notebooks performed strongly across EMEA (8,9% YoY), growing 9,2% in Western Europe and 8,3% in CEMA.
The push to avoid price increases following component shortages and the inventory build-up in Western Europe, together with favourable exchange rates against the dollar in CEMA, fuelled commercial notebooks, which grew 18,6% in CEMA and 11,2% in Western Europe.
Consumer notebooks returned to growth in Central and Eastern Europe (8,1%) and Western Europe (7,5%) thanks to some previous quarter backlogs. Overall desktop shipments continued to decline, posting a 12% decrease in EMEA.
“The return to positive territory shows a clear stabilization of the traditional PC market in EMEA. Memory and SSD shortages caused backlogs last year and some shipments could not be fulfilled earlier than 2017Q1. In addition, the channel anticipated demand and increased its stock intake ahead of further device price hikes,” says Andrea Minonne, research analyst at IDC WE Personal Computing.
Exchange rate fluctuations and a stronger macroeconomic outlook in mature markets (with the exception of the UK) also impacted strongly on PC performance this quarter.
Traditional PC market consolidation is progressing, and the share of the top 5 vendors continued to grow in 2017Q1. The top five players accounted for 77,4% of the total market volume compared with 74,1% in 2016Q1.
HP Inc reinforced its leadership, gaining share (25,7%) and growing 4,4% YoY. Gains in the consumer notebook space helped boost performance.
Lenovo maintained its share (20,6%) and grew 1,4% YoY, mainly driven by double-digit growth in commercial notebooks, where the company is reinforcing its position.
Dell posted solid growth (9,8%) and increased its market share (12%) thanks to strong commercial notebook results.
Acer Group experienced a stark 35,1% growth, strengthening its position (9,8% share) after a challenging 2016Q1.
ASUS faced challenges related to competitive notebook price pressure and inventory but the company is consolidating its position in the consumer space in MEA.