IDC: HP holds lead in European PC market in Q1

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) 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, IDC said in its preliminary results Web conference Thursday.

Unlike in the U.S. market, where HP and Dell Computer Corp. are neck and neck for first place in PC sales, HP is far ahead in Europe, IDC said. 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, according to IDC.

Following HP and Dell are Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holdings) BV, Acer Inc. and IBM Corp.

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

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

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

The Middle East and Africa have been less affected by the war than IDC expected, with two per cent growth, Paoli said. Israel has been worst hit, with a drop of eight per cent, she said.

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 per cent year on year, Paoli said.

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

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.

IDC is owned by International Data Group Inc., the parent company of IDG News Service.