Strong notebook sales help the PC market beat Q3 expectations

Commercial notebook sales were fairly decent in Q3 helping the overall PC market exceed the expectations, according to IDC

There were plenty of reasons why the third quarter should have been bad for the PC industry with exchange rate fluctuations, Brexit and the collapse of one of the largest Asian shipping companies. But the mariket defied the negativity to give those selling laptops a fairly decent three months.

There are also reasons for the channel to remain optimistic about the end of the year with Black Friday coming up and the usual festive rush to put something technical in a stocking.

An overview of the EMEA PC market in Q3 from IDC was fairly pleasant to read if laptops, detachables and convertibles are your thing but not so good if the desktop is still something being relied on to provide decent income.

"The PC market continued to be differentiated in EMEA, with only one common trend: a decline in desktops," said Andrea Minonne, research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing.

"Although desktops registered again negative results and demand was low across EMEA, notebooks performed differently across all sub-regions. Once again, the Western European commercial market performed positively in 2016Q3, thanks to increasing adoption of notebooks in response to enterprise mobility needs," she added.

Overall PC shipments in EMEA came in better than expected with only a 3.3% year-on-year decline in Q3. Notebook shipments registered 0.7% growth, with the preference for the thin and light models being delivered by vendors being a plus factor in places like the UK.

Of specific interest to the channel was the performance of commercial notebooks, which increased by 5.6% YoY. There was even a note of caution from the analyst house that there could be stock shortages as the orders are put in for what is expected to be a busy Q4.

One slight disappointment was the apparent lack of a Windows 10 effect with the OS anniversary edition failing to have a significant impact.

For the UK the hammering of the pound following the Brexit decision did lead to some PC price rises, which was also a factor that created headwinds for the channel to deal with in the commercial market.

IDC's vendor rankings saw HP at the top of the EMEA market with a 26% market share. Lenovo was coming up in second with 20.1%, which was almost flat compared to last year. In third position Dell enjoy7ed strong commercial and consumer notebook sales in the quarter.

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