PC Shipments Continue To Suffer

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PC shipments have dropped drastically compared to the same time last year as tablets start to bite

PC shipments in the Western Europe fell by 20.9 percent in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, according to analysts IDC.

Central Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa regions enjoyed strong growth, performing better than expected, but on the whole PC shipments in the Europe, Middle east and Africa region (EMEA) contracted by 8.9 percent.

A shift in interest and budget toward other products added to weak consumer demand and slow stock depletion across Western Europe, IDC said in an announcement.

IDC said that PC sales in the Western European consumer market suffered badly, recording a 32.2 percent drop, while commercial demand dropped 4.3 percent.

Losing out to tablets and smartphones

IDC said that interest in tablets and smartphones was causing users to postpone desktop and laptop purchases.

“While inventory levels improved, slow consumer demand continued to prevent faster stock depletion and continued to inhibit vendor sell-in,” said Eszter Morvay, research manager, IDC’s EMEA Personal Computing research.

“Despite the seasonal impact of the back-to-school and Christmas periods, consumer demand is likely to remain lackluster and geared toward media tablets, as a plethora of new models was launched in 2Q with many more to follow in the coming months.”

She also predicted that broader tablet choice would likely lead to a price battle, making them more affordable for a wider audience.

Morvay said the signs were encouraging for tablets in the commercial market.

“IDC estimates that in 2Q close to 20,000 slate tablets shipped in the Western European commercial segment, compared with just 5,000 during the same quarter last year.

“Vertical sectors with field workers, such as utilities, transport, and healthcare, have always represented a key growth opportunity, and current product expansion and improvement could well support accelerated penetration.”

Vendor round-up

HP consolidated its lead in the EMEA region but contracting consumer shipments supported by strong commercial performance.

Acer remained in second place but has been hit hard by high inventory buildup accumulated over the past year.

Dell meanwhile enjoyed a strong quarter and returned to positive growth, although stronger results were constrained by weaker than expected demand across both consumer and commercial segments.

Asus and Lenovo, in that order, made up the rest of the top five.

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