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Inventory woes blight Emea PC market

Industry efforts to try and clear out excess inventory had a negative impact on Emea PC shipments

Excess inventory has been a major source of problems for the channel in the PC market as it has taken most of last year to clear out older models to try to get customers ready to spend on the latest kit.

Not only did a flood of older models clog up the channel but it hit the bottom line with promotions and price reductions required to try and reduce the problem.

Inevitably the situation took its toll on the overall strength of the Emea PC market with IDC reporting an 18.2% decrease in shipments in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2014.

The positive news for the channel is that the year ended on a stable note and the expectation from the anslysts is that 2016 should deliver a different and more positive picture.

"The market contraction was to be expected," said Chrystelle Labesque, associate director, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. "However, if you take Bing [the Microsoft promotion that ran from summer 2014 to January last year] out of the comparison, the consumer market would end the year flat, which is an encouraging sign of stabilisation."

From a vendor point of view the arrows were all pointing downwards, except for Asus, which saw year-on-year growth of 2.7% thanks largely to strong growth across Western Europe.

The biggest loser was Acer, which suffered a 25.2% decrease year-on-year, with inventory issues the main factor highlighted by IDC.  But the rest were not far behind with HP down 17.3%, Lenovo 19.7% and Dell 11.9%.

Earlier this month the global PC picture for last year was painted by IDC and Gartner showing that there had been double digit declines year-on-year.

The latest analysis of the PC market from IDC showed a 10.6% year-on-year decline in global shipments in Q4, slightly worse than Gartner numbers, which put the drop at 8.3%.

There were reasons to be more optimistic about the months ahead with Windows 10, Intel's Skylake CPU and a host of very attractive products that were unveiled at CES all expected to have a positive impact.

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