A combination of component shortages, macroeconomic and political factors are threatening to derail the ongoing progress in the commercial PC market across EMEA.
IDC has sounded the warning over the prospects for this year with the analyst's latest quarterly PC tracker forecasting unit sales across EMEA of 67.6m in 2019, which would be a 3.5 decline compared to the previous 12 months.
The positive is that the attraction of shifting to Windows 10 remains and the ongoing move by commercial customers to renew ageing hardware estates will continue to be a feature. The negative is that not only will the consumer side of the market remain in the doldrums but other factors could hit commercial growth.
"The Western European PC market is expected to remain constrained, driven by the CPU supply chain shortage and the difficult political situation in major economies," said Malini Paul, research manager, IDC Western European Personal Computing Devices.
"While the ongoing shortage of notebooks is anticipated to ease by end of 2019Q2, the CPU supply issue with desktops will continue to impact shipments in the second half of the year," was the warning from Paul.
IDC is also expecting some movement by firms reacting to the end of Windows 7 support in a year and the growing demand from workers for increased mobility to have a positive impact on laptop sales, in both the private and public sectors.
Along with the component shortages there are also concerns around the ongoing trade issues between the US and China and the political uncertainty that has been caused by Brexit and the slowdown in major European economies.
Figures from Context indicated that the Windows 10 refresh continued to drive commercial PC investment in the first few weeks of this year and that shift to the latest Microsoft OS would continue to give resellers a reason to encourage customers to upgrade.
Context found that across Western Europe commercial PC sales were up by 5% in January although it also charted an ongoing decline on the consumer front with a 5% drop in the first month of the year.
Specifically in the UK, Context found that the start of the year saw a 11.8% rise in the sales of business PCs through distribution and a 27.2% decline with consumer targeted products.
Context is also expecting the component shortages to lessen after the second quarter and give the commercial market more reasons to continue the positive trend laid down in 2018.