First quarter PC shipment figures from analyst house Context have served to reinforce the gathering sense of economic recovery, with the UK market performing solidly in the first three months of the year and shipments across EMEA bouncing back to life.
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Across the region, unit sales were up by just under 30% on the year-ago-quarter, with 26.3 million units walking off the shelves. Sustained demand in the consumer market for mobile systems and all-in-one touchscreen desktops was credited with driving the market, and Context said it also saw a "cautious return of business IT investment."
The UK registered double-digit growth by Context's reckoning, and again consumer demand was seen driving shipment growth of 13.5% to 3.42 million units. Netbooks continued to dominate the local market, but a rebound in the x86 server market also pointed to increased corporate spending.
In terms of market share, HP, Acer and Dell dominated the region, holding 22.5%, 22% and 10.2% of the market respectively. Fourth place was held by Asus, which accounted for 7.6% of the market, leapfrogging Toshiba after posting 146% year-on-year growth to its rival's 6.6%.
Looking ahead, Context said it expected the second quarter figures to be lower sequentially following the impact of the
Icelandic ash cloud
, and warned that "PC sales during the remainder of 2010 might also be impacted by renewed economic uncertainties in the light of the European sovereign debt crisis."
Consumer demand is expected to be the main driving force in the market, but Context expects business sales to start to show signs of life in the coming months as uptake of both Windows 7 and new x86 processor technologies from Intel and AMD grows.