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PC Shipments in EMEA Have Mixed Results

Following a slow down which started in the final quarter of 2008, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) PC shipments fell to negative trends in the first quarter of 2009 as anticipated.

In line with forecasts, the PC market in EMEA displayed its first yearly decline since the 2001 recession, with sales recording –10 percent year-on-year growth in 1Q09, according to data released by IDC.

The CEE region remained the most affected bringing down overall EMEA results with a decline in PC shipments of –41 percent, while MEA slowed down as well at –6.1 percent growth. Western Europe held well, however, with shipments decreasing by only –0.5 percent, supported by sustained consumer demand and continued traction for Mini Notebooks.

The business market is directly impacted by lower investment levels and consumer spending also slowed down since January, but the traction for Mini Notebooks helped to sustain consumer demand in Western Europe and contain overall market contraction, and will continue to do so over the coming quarters as vendors, retailers, and telco players will maintain a major push.

Continuing to suffer from a challenging financial situation, most countries in Central Eastern Europe displayed further contraction this quarter. Russia and Ukraine remained severely constrained and several other markets declined as well. Growth in the Middle East also decelerated, but to a much lesser extent thanks to sustained demand for portable PCs.

IDC expects the CEE region to remain strongly negative in the coming quarters, affected by the global economic downturn, which is impacting both commercial and consumer markets," said Stefania Lorenz, research director, Systems, IDC CEMA.

"Within the CEE region, just a few countries reported positive growth, with Czech Republic and Slovakia being the most dynamic. The desktop market in the MEA region reported the lowest drop ever while notebook sales were able to remain afloat, with strong growth for portable PCs in Africa in particular."

PC sales in Western Europe also slowed down, declining by a moderate –0.5 percent year on year, and slightly ahead of forecasts. Commercial sales were directly impacted by the economic downturn and declined by –14.8 percent, affecting both desktop and portable shipments.

However, the consumer market demonstrated some resilience, despite a slowdown in consumer spending as a result of fragile consumer confidence and rising unemployment.

In Western Europe, dynamics in the portable PC market continued to be driven by consumer demand, with Mini Notebooks contributing to an impressive 28 percent growth despite the overall economic slowdown.

The market clearly benefited from continued price declines overall, and retailers deployed aggressive deals and promotions, as cash-trapped customers were increasingly looking for a bargain and opted for low-priced entry-level systems.

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