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PC prices improve as shipments continue to decline

The PC market might be still suffering declines in PC shipments but ASPs are improving

The back clouds still hover over the PC industry with the demand for desktops continuing to fall but there are signs that there is a silver lining with average sale prices increasing.

The latest review of how things went in the first quarter across Western Europe from research house Context echoes some of the findings from other analysts that have already released their views of Q1.

Context gets its numbers from distribution and found that year-on-year PC sales declined by 9%. It was always going to be tough to follow 2015, where low end notebooks had helped sales increase by 14%.

"Q1 2016 was a challenging quarter for PCs in Western European distribution”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context. “Year-on-year sales were impacted by a strong compare and weak conditions in some of the segments."

But it was not all bad news and Windows 10 started to have an impact and along with industry moves to react to exchange rates and improve the price of products sold in Europe ASPs improved by 8% year-on-year.

"On a positive note, PC pricing was up compared to last year and there was continued growth in a number of areas, including the new hybrid mobile PCs," said Pygott.

The result of those ASP improvements was that although volume sales dropped by 9% the comparision for Q1 with last year for revenues only saw a 1% drop.

Context looked a PC sales in terms of country performance and the UK delivered a 7.3 decline in Q1, which was about middle in the rankings table. Switzerland was the best performing country with 7.8% growth and France got the wooden spoon with a 16.2% drop year-on-year.

Earlier this month, Gartner revealed that there was a 10% decline in Q1 in PC sales across EMEA. The analyst firm also showed that 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 and provided those convinced that the PC market was in terminal decline with more facts and figures they could use to push customers towards other platforms.

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