PC shipments in EMEA reached 20.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015 — an 18.2% decrease year on year, according to IDC. After a strong shipment push of devices under Microsoft’s Bing promotion from summer 2014 to January 2015, the focus for hardware manufacturers and their channel partners has been to deplete stock, leading to an 18% contraction for 2015 with 76.3 million PCs shipped in EMEA.
In 2014 PC shipments were driven in commercial by the end of Windows XP support as well as the need to renew the first Windows 7 portables four years after their deployment, while in the consumer segment Bing successfully targeted the needs of price sensitive users. The strengthening of the dollar also led partners to gamble on cheap products in the fourth quarter of 2014. But 2015 turned into a very costly year for all of them as inventory clearing not only took eleven months but also strong promotions and price reductions. Year on year comparisons were therefore unfavourable during 2015 and the introduction of new technologies such as Windows 10 or new CPUs failed to reverse the trend. But it is not all bad news— as there are some signs of stabilisation and 2015 results will support a more positive comparison in 2016.
“The market contraction was to be expected,” said Chrystelle Labesque, associate director, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. The combination of various economic and political factors led all three sub-regions to contract in 2015Q4. Western Europe declined by 13.1%, while in line with expectations, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) contracted 24.7%. In Western Europe, the U.K. consumer market reported the best result, while in the commercial segment some public spending in particular in Austria and Italy supported shipment volumes. A sharp decline in oil prices together with currency and political instabilities affected the CEMA region in particular, while the slowdown in the Chinese economy is worsening the business outlook in export-oriented Western European countries. Looking at the full 2015 performance, Western Europe was down by 13.8% over 2014, and market consolidation becomes more obvious as the top 3 players (HP, Lenovo, Dell) accounted for 54% of the market in 2015 vs 50% in 2014.
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