Study: EMEA Q2 PC recovery hopes fade

PC shipments in Eastern Europe grew in the second quarter, but a continued decline in shipments in Western Europe dragged down the PC market for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as a whole, quashing hopes of a recovery, Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Inc., said Wednesday.

Weak demand, especially from corporate buyers, led to a year-on-year 6 per cent decline in PC shipments in Western Europe in the second quarter, according to preliminary figures from Dataquest. This decline resulted in a 0.3 per cent decline in PC shipments in EMEA as a whole, the first drop in six months, said Brian Gammage, principal analyst for Dataquest, commenting on the figures on Thursday.

“Over the last two quarters the decline in Western Europe was not big enough to push the whole region into negative territory. The third quarter of 2001 was the low point and it looked like we were going into growth again. This has dashed hopes for a PC market recovery later this year,” said Gammage.

In total, 8.65 million units were shipped in the second quarter. Eastern Europe continued to show double-digit growth, but with Western Europe accounting for about 70 per cent of EMEA PC shipments, there is no growth overall, Gammage said.

“Western Europe has now declined in five successive quarters. That is not good news,” Gammage said, adding that he expects modest EMEA-wide year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter. Full recovery of the EMEA PC market is not expected until the second half of 2003, he said.

Of the top five vendors in EMEA, the numbers two and five, Dell Computer Corp. and Acer Inc., were the only ones to see year-on-year shipment growth, up 5.4 per cent and 33.3 per cent, respectively. Market leader Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), number three Fujitsu Siemens Computer Holding BV and the fourth player IBM Corp. saw shipments fall by 11.6 per cent, 10.6 per cent and 17.8 per cent, respectively.

“Acer got promoted due to HP and Compaq merging,” said Gammage. The company’s growth figure looks good, but it does not represent actual sales as Acer is building inventory to support expansion in distribution and retail, Gammage said.

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