IDC: Tablet PC makes slow start in EMEA

Shipments of Tablet PCs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were off to a slow start in the final months of last year, principally because of high prices and lack of language support, research company IDC said Monday.

Just over 20,000 touchscreen notebook computers running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system, introduced in November, were shipped in EMEA in the fourth quarter of 2002, according to an IDC statement.

The overall notebook computer market in the region reached nearly three million units in the same period, a 19.5 per cent year-on-year growth rate, IDC said. Shipments of cheap, entry-level notebooks drove growth, according to IDC.

Worldwide, vendors shipped over 72,000 Tablet PCs, with the U.S. leading all regions with about half of the total volume, according to IDC.

Tablet PC shipments in EMEA were slowed by a number of factors, including the small number of early adopters and vertical markets targeted, average price tags of over