Business sales keeping PC market ticking over

Demand from the commercial sector managed to help the PC market deliver low growth in Q3 across Western Europe, according to the latest numbers from Context

The back to school windows for the PC market has not been a terrific one with spending not as strong as expected but commercial orders kept those selling the hardware ticking over in the third quarter.

Numbers from analyst house Context indicate that most of Q3 was used by distribution to clear PC inventory, using special promotions as a tool, to get things ready for Q4.

Sales across Western Europe for Q3 came in at 0.8% up, year-on-year, with notebooks improving by 3.5% as desktops continued to decline with a 5.9% fall. The UK saw Q3 PC volume growth beat the overall Western European market, coming in at 1.2% in Q3.

There are some reasons to be optimistic about the future, with Windows 10 having an impact, but the analyst house is also cautious over the ongoing Brexit impact on pricing and the uncertainty caused by the political situation.

The business customer base was the one that kept firing with sales up by 3.3%, with notebooks driving that performance.

Windows 10 has not had much of an impact yet, although Context saw some spending as a result of upgrading to run the latest Microsoft OS, with that expected to filter through this quarter and the first half of next year.

“Going forward there are expectations in the business space of continued, moderate growth at the end of 2016 thanks to year-end projects and Windows 10 commercial sales will also begin to pick up at the end of the year/1H 2017,” said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context.

Country breakdown

 

Y/Y PC volume growth

Country

Q3-16

United Kingdom

1.2%

Germany

4.8%

Italy

5.7%

Spain

-8.2%

France

-2.3%

Netherlands

8.9%

Sweden

7.9%

Switzerland

1.9%

Portugal

-10.8%

Belgium

10.6%

Austria

-8.2%​

 Source: Context

On the consumer side things continue to go from bad to worse with customer moving away from the traditional laptops and PCs preferring to splash out on convertibles, Chromebooks and gaming PCs.

Business customers also embraced detachables with that segment rising by 227% year-on-year to go above 250,000 units through distribution.

On the vendor side Q3 proved to be a good one for HP which now commands a 33% share of units going through distribution. Asus also saw volumes increase by 9% to gain a 13% share and Dell was also busy growing its customer base.

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