Dataquest: Consumer notebooks hot ticket in EMEA

Shipments of PCs in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were up 6 per cent in the fourth quarter last year over the year earlier period, driven by consumers buying laptop computers, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Inc.

In total,13.1 million PCs were shipped in EMEA in the last three months of 2002, versus 12.3 million in the same period of 2001. For the full year 2002, PC shipments in the region grew 3 per cent to 41.1 million units compared to 39.8 million units in 2001, Dataquest said in a statement.

Corporate buyers still are not placing many orders, replacing PCs on a needs basis only and this won’t change in 2003, Dataquest said. PC shipments this year will grow at between 6 per cent and 7 per cent, the market researcher forecasts.

Acer Inc. continues to grow on the EMEA market, unseating IBM Corp. as the fourth ranked vendor. Acer, benefiting from low prices and an expanding distribution network, saw its shipments grow 28.9 per cent to 683,000 units in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier, when it shipped 530,000 units, Dataquest said.

Dell Computer Corp., the number two vendor on the EMEA market, and IBM, now number five, also recorded unit shipment growth in the quarter, Dataquest said. Dell shipped 1.2 million units, 12.9 per cent more than the 1.1 million in the final three months of 2001. IBM shipped 681,000 thousand PCs in the quarter, up 4.2 per cent from last year, Dataquest said.

Market leader Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and number three Fujitsu Siemens Computer Holding BV saw shipments fall by 12.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively, according to Dataquest.

The EMEA market trend is broadly in line with the worldwide trend, with consumers driving market growth and sales to businesses lagging, according to Dataquest, which also released its worldwide PC shipment numbers on Thursday.