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EMEA PC sales continue to nosedive

Acer, Dell and Lenovo all lose huge chunks of the PC pie, according to Gartner's latest shipment estimates

PC shipments in the EMEA region saw a 10% year-over-year decline in the first quarter of 2016, according to preliminary results from Gartner.

Last week, the analyst firm revealed that the global PC shipments had sunk to their lowest point in a decade, with sales falling for a sixth consecutive quarter, down 9.6% year-on-year during the first three months of 2016. This marked the first time shipment volumes had fallen below 65m since 2007

This week, the analyst house provided regional breakdowns - and unsurprisingly - things look equally bleak in our corner of the planet. Shipments for Q12016 totalled 19.5m units, a 10% year over year decline - roughly on par with the global downward trend.

Scratch a little deeper, however, and Gartner’s research reveals a few subtle differences within the region.

"While the decline in the EMEA PC market is similar to the 9.6 per cent decline seen worldwide, there are some differences in the region," said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner. "In EMEA we saw many distinct factors cause clear splits between the consumer and professional PC markets, but also regionally between Western Europe and the rest of EMEA. Some PC vendors struggled to manage inventory and profitability in these diverse and rapidly shifting conditions."

Looking at vendor performance in EMEA, HP increased its market share lead, despite a shipment decline of 2.5%, while Lenovo’s shipments shrank a significant 12.6%. Asus, ranked third, was the only vendor in the top five to increase its shipments, growing 3.9%.

Acer was by-far-and-away the biggest loser of the quarter, selling 26.4% fewer PCs year-over-year.

There was strong growth in demand for ultrabooks and hybrid two-in-one devices in both the business and consumer segments; however, this was not enough to offset the decline in PC sales.

"Despite ongoing weakness in the EMEA PC market, consumer shipments in the UK and Germany were stable, which benefited HP," said Durand. "Professional shipments of desktops and notebooks declined as business buyers continued to evaluate Windows 10 and delayed major deployments until the end of 2016."

"These various trends in major Western European markets reveal that vendors are failing to give consumers and businesses a compelling reason to upgrade their existing PC hardware."

Economic and geo-political challenges in Russia and Ukraine had a chilling effect on Eastern Europe and Eurasia shipments.

"All of these factors combined put heavy pressure on the demand for new PCs across EMEA," Durand said. "In addition, the caution of PC buyers in EMEA will likely continue into the second quarter of 2016. PC vendors must react quickly to varied trends among the professional and consumer segments, and fast-changing market conditions. The structure of the devices market and user purchasing behaviour has fundamentally changed the dynamics of the PC market."

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