LONDON, July 17, 2014 — According to International Data Corporation (IDC), PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) reached 21.9 million units in the second quarter of 2014 — a 10.5% increase year on year and a clear return to growth after seven quarters of consecutive decline. As in the previous quarter, Western Europe drove most of the regional growth, with shipments supported by strong enterprise renewals, which led to an overall 25% increase in the PC market. Consumer shipments also returned to growth after a severe contraction in 2013. At the same time, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) remained impacted by the unstable political and economic situation in Russia and by currency fluctuations; as forecast, CEE declined by 13.2%. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) posted a modest 1.9% increase in shipments. In line with those trends, portable PC shipments in EMEA returned to growth (up 8.3%), while desktop PC shipments increased 14.1%. The increase in total EMEA shipments indicates a rebound in the market but not a recovery as volumes remain below the 25 million unit mark of the peak periods in 2010 and 2012.
"The clear improvements in EMEA are positive signs for PC manufacturers," said Chrystelle Labesque, research manager, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "However, there was still a big difference between the subregions, and especially in the consumer segment the divide between mature and emerging markets is similar to the worldwide trend. While some parts of the CEMA [Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa] PC market continued to suffer from unfavorable exchange rates and a difficult political situation, Western European shipments were fueled by low-end consumer notebooks. Even if the comparison is eased by a very poor second quarter of 2013, more attractive products at the right price points encouraged more consumers to renew their devices. Retailers and etailers also seem more confident as new product designs and features better positioned price-wise are now generating higher sales and not only just interest. Promotional activities and vendors' preparation for the back-to-school period further supported the market. The level of inventory will have to be monitored closely as back-to-school sales progress during August and September." In this context, Chromebooks continued to grow, but their impact is limited to several countries in Western Europe.
PC shipments in Western Europe have continued to benefit this quarter from ongoing renewals in the SMB space following the end of Windows XP support. Commercial demand remained strong as business confidence stemming from an improving macroeconomic outlook contributed to corporate renewals. Commercial PC shipment growth in Western Europe reached 26.9% — clear confirmation that PCs remain key productivity tools in the enterprise environment. At the same time, the rebound in consumer shipments accelerated and some markets, including southern Europe, returned to levels of business close to their capacity. Shipments in Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands took off, with sell-in up by more than 40%.
"The lack of investments in PC renewals during the past two years contributed to an aging installed base across the commercial market and, together with the end of Windows XP support, this generated large renewal needs," said Maciej Gornicki, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "As the macroeconomic outlook improved in most Western European countries, large enterprises regained confidence and started to replace their PCs, while many companies in the SMB segment reacted late to the change in the operating system. This has mainly boosted demand for desktops in the past two quarters, while the wave of portable renewals remains ahead of us."
"The PC market in the CEMA region reported a contraction of 6% year on year," said Stefania Lorenz, associate VP, IDC CEMA. "The CEE region, in line with forecasts, recorded an annual decline of 13.2%. The region was affected by the expected contraction from the Eastern countries: Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Russia and Ukraine suffered mostly from a slowdown in consumer demand, affected by the instability in both the economic and political situation, as well as high unemployment and a salary freeze. Kazakhstan remains affected by the dramatic currency devaluation, which is not expected to improve in the short term."
"Unlike the Eastern countries, the central region has performed well above expectations," said Nikolina Jurisic, product manager, IDC CEMA. "Countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Czech Republic have reported strong double-digit growth year on year. PC growth was driven by both consumer and commercial segments, thanks to continual improvement in channel strategies from the players in the market, as well as the expected renewal of XP that is taking place. The MEA region reported soft 1.9% year-on-year growth for the overall PC market. The desktop market performed slightly better, thanks to the Windows XP renewals taking place across all commercial segments."
The market consolidation had a significant effect on the redistribution of portable PC shares this quarter — the top 5 vendors jointly posted more than 25%, but the remaining players declined around 16%.
HP demonstrated clear leadership and posted impressive growth of more than 27% in EMEA, with Western Europe the fastest-growing subregion. The new product portfolio, including a strong product offer for consumers, has been contributing to this performance, while effective strategy execution around One HP seems to be paying dividends. The strong commercial foothold of the vendor and the favorable year-on-year comparison were further reasons for its success.
Lenovo's expansion across EMEA has been very significant this quarter with a share increase of almost 5%, a clear winner from a market consolidation perspective. Lenovo was also able to outperform the market and increase share in all three subregions. Key elements of the vendor's success included a wide product offering, channel coverage, and execution of the "protect and attack" strategy with large gains in the consumer space in particular.
Acer regained third place in 2Q14 and climbed one position in the ranking in comparison with 1Q14. The vendor outperformed the market, driven by Western Europe and the Middle East and Africa. The new portfolio gave it a stronger positioning in the consumer space while the reintroduction of the Extensa line-up provided growth in the commercial segment, where Acer benefited from its presence in the SMB space.
Dell had a softer quarter compared to previous quarters, performing in line with the market on the commercial side but missing out on the consumer volume rebound due to its weaker presence in the segment. Dell continued to leverage its commercial strength and the investment made in building an indirect channel in recent quarters, with the SMB segment being the most promising area.
ASUS also performed above market average and retained fifth place. The vendor's ramp-up in the desktop area has enabled it to gain market share in the region, but portable PCs remained the main contributor to ASUS shipments.
Outside the top 5 vendors, Apple ranked sixth, benefiting from the more positive consumer dynamics and outlook in Western Europe. Toshiba, in seventh place, focused on certain market segments, which resulted in some challenges for the vendor. Fujitsu posted very solid growth of more than 25% and ranked eighth. MSI entered the top 10 and took ninth place. Samsung closed out the top 10 ranking in EMEA with another quarter of decline due to disinvestment from entry-level portable PCs and a switched focus on Chromebooks and high-end ultra-books.
Top 5 Vendors: Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) PC Shipments* 2Q14 (Preliminary) (000 Units)
Source: IDC EMEA Quarterly PC Tracker, Preliminary Results, 2Q14, July 16, 2014
* PC shipments = desktop and notebooks.
Shipments are branded shipments for all form factors (including desktops and notebooks) and exclude x86 servers as well as OEM sales for all vendors. Data for all vendors is reported for calendar periods.
For more information on IDC's EMEA Quarterly PC Tracker or other IDC personal computing research services, contact Associate Vice President Karine Paoli on 44 (0) 20 8987 7218 or at email@example.com. Alternatively, contact your local IDC office or visit www.idc.com.