Netbooks, heavy retailer promotions and increased participation by the telecoms channel helped to stave off a major decline in Western European PC sales, according to the latest figures from IDC.
Overall the EMEA region saw a decline of ten per cent compared to the same time last year. However, there were marked differences in how each sub-region performed, with Central and Eastern Europe seeing a dramatic fall in shipments, down 41 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2008. That was in stark contrast to the relatively positive decline of 0.5 per cent in Western Europe.
Much of the reasons behind the softened decline in Western Europe was put down to huge growth in the netbook market, with the devices growing 28 per cent year on year, despite the impact of the recession.
However, on the commercial side of the channel, there was still no signs of hope, with another major fall in shipments, this time of 14.8 per cent for both desktops and laptops.
The telecoms channel was also cited by IDC as one of the reasons why Western Europe had been less affected by the decline, but the market research firm said compared to retailer promotions, it had had less of an impact in simulating poor customer demand.
There are bright signs on the horizon though, according to the research firm, with major promotions and an increased push by the telecoms channel into the retail side of the channel likely to help limit the impact the recession is having on Western European shipments.
"This quarter delivered an expected deceleration of the EMEA PC market as the financial crisis unfolded across the region, but while emerging markets are hit the hardest, mature economies held well considering the global environment," said associate vice president, IDC EMEA Systems Infrastructure Solutions, Karine Paoli.
"The business market is directly impacted by lower investment levels and consumer spending also slowed down since January, but the traction for Mini Notebooks helped to sustain consumer demand in Western Europe and contain overall market contraction, and will continue to do so over the coming quarters as vendors, retailers, and telco players will maintain a major push."