Notebook Sales Drives PC Market Stabilization in EMEA

Traditional PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) stabilized in the fourth quarter of 2016, registering a close-to-zero decline (-0.2% YoY) and reaching 20.7 million units, according to IDC. Notebooks performed well across all EMEA regions (2.9% YoY), growing 2.7% in Western Europe and 3.3% in CEMA. The strong demand was triggered by the commercial space, which grew 10.1% in Western Europe and 1.2% in Central and Eastern Europe.

Consumer notebook demand was positive in Central and Eastern Europe (4.4%) and the Middle East and Africa (5.8%), while Western Europe was stronger than expected but still contracting (-2.4%). While notebooks experienced a strong momentum in 2016Q4, desktops continued to fall, posting an overall 6.9% decline in EMEA due to a weak consumer demand.

Annually, traditional PC shipments fell to 71.6 million units in 2016, down 6.1% from 2015. Throughout the year, notebooks outperformed the desktop market thanks to strong demand in the commercial space. Windows 10 did not drive extensive renewals in 2016. However, ultraslims targeting enterprise mobility needs, as well as attractive Chromebooks offerings, especially in the education sector during the back-to-school season, led to strong demand for notebooks in the latter half of the year.

In 2016Q4 the Western European market appeared very fragmented. As the pound has become a turbulent currency following Brexit in the U.K., the British traditional PC market was impacted negatively (-6.2%). Some challenges were experienced also in Southern European economies, such as Spain, due to local political instabilities, with contributed to a YoY decline of shipment with France and Italy close to stabilization. Commercial notebook demand and some deals in the public sector triggered a positive performance in the Nordics, and in Germany, where overall traditional PC shipments were above market average.

The traditional PC market in the CEMA region reported an annual decline of 1.5%. Both regions performed better than forecast in the portable PC market, recording single digit increases YoY. The MEA market recorded a mild contraction of 1.8% YoY despite the numerous ongoing macroeconomic challenges, ranging from low oil prices to currency fluctuations which are effecting several countries in the region. The Turkish traditional PC market came in strongly thanks to several year-end promotions led by channels and a healthy commercial demand. The other big markets of the region, namely South Africa, UAE, and the Rest of Middle East sub-region, remained close to flat YoY, while Saudi Arabia suffered a decline, being one of the most impacted due to low crude oil prices.

Traditional PC market consolidation is progressing, and the share of the top 5 vendors grew in 2016Q4. The top 5 players accounted for 76.8% of the total market volume vs 72.5% in 2015Q4.

  • HP experienced a strong market share increase (25.5%) and continued to reinforce its position. Strong consumer notebook results triggered most of the gain, while commercial posted growth too.
  • Lenovo also increased its share to 21.1%, driven by a strong performance in the notebook space, where the company continues to outperform the market in both the consumer and commercial segments.
  • Dell's market share was boosted by a solid double-digit performance in the commercial notebook space, allowing the vendor to reach an 11.1% share. The vendor's gains were also strong in desktop.
  • ASUS faced some market challenges due to component shortages. The company is consolidating its position in the commercial notebook space in CEMA.

Acer Group's market share increased compared with last year, thanks to a strong performance in the consumer notebook space, in particular in Western Europe.

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