Preliminary results by Gartner put HP at the top spot across EMEA

PC sales dip as average selling prices rise

PC shipments in EMEA totalled 21.7 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a decline of 4.4 per cent from the same period last year.

Analyst Gartner says this was the first quarter of decline after four consecutive quarters of growth in 2014. 

HP retained the number one position in EMEA with strong notebook PC growth, while Lenovo (the only vendor to show double-digit growth), held the number two position with strong performance in the consumer PC market, ahead of Acer and ASUS.

A decline in Dell’s PC shipments was attributed to the challenging professional desk-based PC market in the first quarter of 2015.

Overall, desk-based PC shipments ‘declined rapidly’ as the impact of the Windows XP upgrade cycle continued to diminish. Gartner said that the fall in PC sales was steeper than what the market would usually experience between the fourth and first quarters. 

However, average selling prices for PCs across distribution in euro-zone countries increased marginally in the Q1 2015 from the previous quarter. This was due to the rise of prices by vendors to offset the impact of the euro/dollar exchange rate pressures.

"We can expect a bigger currency impact in the second quarter of 2015 with professional PC prices expected to increase more than in the consumer PC market. In the consumer market, manufacturers will lower the specifications of PCs to keep their prices competitive," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. 

"A bright spot of the market was the strong performance of hybrid notebooks, which led to growth in consumer mobile PCs. There were, however, some concerns about inventory build-up as vendors shipped high volumes of Bing notebooks into the channel in the fourth quarter of 2014. This eased as the quarter ended."

Globally, PC shipments totalled 71.7 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 5.2 per cent decline from the first quarter of 2014. 

"The PC industry received a boost in 2014 as many companies replaced their PCs due to the end of Windows XP support, but that replacement cycle faded in the first quarter of 2015," added Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

"However, this decline is not necessarily a sign of sluggish overall PC sales long term. Mobile PCs, including notebooks, hybrid and Windows tablets, grew compared with a year ago. The first quarter results support our projection of a moderate decline of PC shipments in 2015, which will lead to a slow, consistent growth stage for the next five years."

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