PC market starts to recover from recession


PC market starts to recover from recession

Paul Kunert

The global PC market has started to move into recovery mode as shipments in the second quarter declined less than analysts expected but the bad news is that the EMEA market has yet to hit rock bottom.

Gartner today revealed 68.1 million desktops, notebooks and x86 servers were sold worldwide, representing a decline of 5%, far better than the 9.8% fall the market watcher had initially anticipated.

However, EMEA sales declined 10.9%, more than twice the global average with shipments totalling 20.6 million units.

“The EMEA PC market in the second quarter of 2009 saw continued weakness,” said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner.

“Despite some return to seasonality trends, the EMEA PC market has not yet bottomed out,” he added.

Hewlett-Packard continued to lead the vendor pack with 19.2% market share as sales declined 2.2%.

“HP has been undertaking cost cutting measures through the first half of 2009 resulting in the merger of its professional and consumer divisions and the subsequent reduction of products in both segments,” said Atwal.

Only Acer managed to post growth out of the top five vendors in the region, growing 21.6% which took its market share to 15.1% and consolidated its second place position.

In third spot, Dell saw sales drop 23.4%, while Toshiba and ASUS shipments fell 19.7% and 26.2% respectively.

France and Germany were hit by the same malaise that struck the UK PC market in Q1, due in part to continued weakness in the professional segment with some vendors experiencing a 20% drop in desktop sales.

Netbooks or mini notebooks accounted for 20% of sales in the mobile PCs space and the aggressive strategies of Acer and Samsung drove sales higher than their rivals.

Atwal forecast a pessimistic outlook for the third quarter suggesting it is likely to be “weaker than the second quarter as year-on-year growth comparisons will include mini-notebooks.

“Back-to-school activity is in motion but needs to continue throughout the third quarter to have any upswing effect on the market,” he added.

The US and Asia Pacific declined 1.2% and 2.3% respectively and the better than expected results can be interpreted as a small sign of a PC market recovery in terms of shipment volumes in some regions,” said Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa.

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