EMEA PC shipments resume steady decline
PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) reached 20.2 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 7.7% decrease year on year, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). After a strong 2014, the market returned to a decline as expected, with business renewals decelerating after last year’s uplift prompted by the end of Windows XP support.
Macro-economic improvements in Europe were dampened by currency fluctuations and political tensions in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMA). The strong dollar led to various price increases in local currencies.
Overall portable PCs performed better than desktop thanks to final shipments of the 15 inch portables with Bing in Western Europe (WE) and some parts of the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The portable PC declined by 3.6% and desktop PCs by 14%.
The deceleration in the commercial market reflects the end of renewal waves of 2014, when growth was driven from one side by the end of Windows XP support in 1H2014 and from the other by a refresh cycle of old installed base in 2H2014.
All three sub-regions posted a decline but WE only contracted by 2% while CEE declined by 23% and MEA by 10%. Market consolidation also seems to be progressing further, with the top two vendors, HP and Lenovo gaining significant market shares (23.2% and 20.4% respectively).
“The first quarter of 2015 was a transition period after strong renewals in 2014. While there are some expectations around the new CPU platform and operating systems to revive the market in coming quarters, the strong dollar will negatively impact IT budgets as product prices in local currencies have and will increase further,” said Chrystelle Labesque, associate director, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. “Consumers and IT managers will have to decide if they postpone purchases or make compromises on their choice or amend their budgets.”
In Western Europe, shipments were affected by exchange rate fluctuations which contributed to increases in components and prices of PCs and resulted in a drop in enterprise demand. The commercial market also suffered from unfavorable year-over-year comparison against 1Q14, when the end of Windows XP support boosted renewals, particularly in the desktop space. As a result, commercial PC shipments in Western Europe posted a 9.5% decline this quarter, with desktop dropping by 17.2%.
Southern Europe was the exception, as Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain all continued to benefit from economic recovery and saw strong increases in commercial PC shipments. The biggest Western European economies, however, witnessed a contraction, with many corporate renewals completed in the past year.
The U.K. and Germany both posted double digit declines, while France was flat. On the other hand, consumer shipments in Western Europe held better than expected as vendors continued to stock up on attractively priced Bing notebooks, pushing substantial sell-in quantities into the market in January, before change to promotion conditions came in to place in February. This led to 8.4% growth in consumer portable PC shipments across Western Europe.