Festive season helped boost shipments, with netbooks proving a big hit

PC market returns to growth in Q4

The PC market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa returned to positive growth in the fourth quarter last year – primarily down to a Christmas boom and improving business in Eastern Europe.

According to research by IDC, PC shipments increased 3.5 per cent year-on-year in Q4 2009, just slightly less than the forecast of 3.8 per cent.

Growth for 2009 as a whole stood at -5.3 per cent, with nearly 97 million units shipped across the EMEA region over the year.

IDC found that portable computers drove the market, while desktop shipments contracted 13.3 per cent year-on-year.

“With five million units shipped this Christmas season, the mini notebook market reached a volume of 14.5 million in 2009, representing an expansion of 110 per cent compared to 2008,” said Eszter Morvay, research manager for IDC EMEA personal computing. “Mini notebooks will remain hot in 2010, but growth is likely to display slightly lower double-digit rates, as the renewal of mainstream notebooks gains pace. In addition, there will be new contenders like thin and light portables, smartbooks, and tablet-based devices to steal the limelight from mini notebooks and potentially stir up the competition in the coming quarters.”

Western Europe benefited from strong consumer demand over Christmas, while Central Eastern Europe recorded a shipment increase of 10.1 per cent in Q4 to 5.8 million, after a year of market contraction.

HP regained first place in the EMEA ranking, while Acer slid back to second place.

Dell and Asus both returned to positive growth (coming third and fourth, respectively), while Toshiba posted flat growth in fifth place. Reinforcing its sixth position in the EMEA ranking, Lenovo reported solid growth again this quarter.

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