Unit sales of PCs through distribution in Western Europe in the third quarter grew 20% and revenues rose by 25% Context reported, but the figures were "artificially" boosted by the weak performance of the market in the third quarter of 2009.
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And the market research firm predicted the recovering euro, falling component prices and an increased consumer PC mix during the pre-Christmas season would lead to a sequential decline in the fourth quarter.
Third quarter revenues in the UK market rose 28% on the back of strong notebook and desktop growth, while Germany had the strongest growth rate of 40%.
Average selling prices (ASP) rose year on year in the quarter from €456 to €476 but declined for the first time on a sequential basis in September with Context identifying lower prices for back-to-school promotions, the changing trend in component pricing and the rise in the euro against the dollar as the main culprits.
Unit growth in the third quarter was driven by strong sales of consumer OS-based PC systems, especially during the August and September back-to-school period. Notebooks drove volume growth, with units increasing by 17%, but desktops were up 16% (although from a smaller base than notebooks).
Netbooks enjoyed a growth spurt in the quarter, increasing by more than 40% in September and maintaining a 25% share of the overall European notebook market. Tablet sales exploded by nearly 1,400%, mainly as a result of sales of Apple's iPad which reached a 57% share of the tablet PC market after its launch in Europe in May.
Apple's overall share increased from 2.6% to 6.1% as product revenues grew by 104%. Lenovo also experienced a big surge, up 73% on strong notebook and desktop sales in Germany and the UK. Samsung's product revenues increased 44%, fuelled by netbook and notebook sales.
Context expected the addition of "a whole range of new tablet PC systems" in the fourth quarter would bring down tablet ASPs in distribution in the fourth quarter. It also predicted further growth for the desktop segment on the back of increasing demand for all-in-one and entertainment systems in the consumer sector, while corporate demand would also benefit from the impact of Windows 7 on product refreshment cycles.