HP holds first-quarter lead in European PC market

Hewlett-Packard continues to lead the European PC market, with about two million shipments in Europe, Middle East and Africa...

Hewlett-Packard continues to lead the European PC market, with about two million shipments in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the first quarter of 2003, according to analyst group IDC.

Unlike in the US market, where HP and Dell are neck and neck for first place in PC sales, HP is far ahead in Europe.

Dell's sales for the first quarter of 2003 are around 1.3 million, although aggressive pricing has seen shipments grow fast, while HP dropped back slightly.

Following HP and Dell are Fujitsu Siemens and IBM.

PC shipments in EMEA grew by 4.5% in the quarter, stronger growth than either the US (1.5%) or the rest of the world (0.9%), said Karine Paoli, research director of IDC EMEA Personal Computing.

Western Europe remains soft, with poor corporate investment and difficult market conditions, but Eastern European markets saw 21% growth.

"That growth is in all form factors and across all markets, small and medium businesses (SMBs), government and the enterprise market," Paoli said.

The Middle East and Africa have been less affected by the Iraq war than IDC expected, with 2% growth, although Israel has been worst hit, with a drop of 8%.

Most of the growth in Europe is in the notebook market, with sales driven by aggressive pricing by all manufacturers. Notebook sales grew by 21% year on year.

Most of the notebook sales have been to consumers and the SMB market, but there are some signs of corporate renewals beginning in the UK, said  Andy Brown, research manager of European Mobile Computing.

These sales have been driven by competitive pricing, with HP and Acer in particular making gains through pricing and strong SMB channel strategies, Brown said.

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