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Gartner Says Western Europe PC Market Grew 24 Per Cent in Third Quarter 2008

Acer Gained No. 1 Position in Western Europe

PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 17.2 million units in the third quarter of 2008, an increase of 24.3 per cent from the same period in 2007. 

The PC market in Western Europe continued to show double digit growth throughout 2008 with nearly all countries across the region posting strong increases as mini-notebooks boosted overall growth. “The market position of vendors was largely determined by those that shipped mini-notebooks and those that did not,” said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner, based in the UK. “As a result, Acer moved to the top position in Western Europe, ahead of HP for the first time ever.”

Despite the general economic turmoil, demand in the consumer PC market was strong in the third quarter of 2008. However, the professional market felt the impact as the desk-based market declined 3 per cent and the overall professional market increased just 5 per cent.

Gartner predicts that the PC market will weaken going into the fourth quarter and 2009, even with the increase in shipments of mini-notebooks. “It is impossible for the PC market to avoid the negative impact that the macro-economic factors are having on both business and consumer markets,” said Mr Atwal. “We expect organisations to keep their PCs longer and consumers to delay buying additional PCs for the household. This in turn will force a deeper price war and further consolidation in the marketplace.”

Table 1
Western EuropePC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q08 (Thousands of Units)

 

Company

3Q08 Shipments

3Q8 Market Share (%)

3Q07 Shipments

3Q07 Market Share (%)

3Q08-3Q07 Growth (%)

Acer

       4,296

25.0

        2,614

18.9

64.3

Hewlett-Packard

       3,548

20.7

        3,167

22.9

12.1

Dell Inc.

       1,985

11.6

        1,792

13.0

10.7

ASUS

       1,101

6.4

           373

2.7

195.5

Toshiba

          928

5.4

           755

5.5

23.0

Others

       5,310

30.9

        5,110

37.0

3.9

Total

      17,168

100.0

      13,811

100.0

24.3

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs
Source: Gartner (November 2008)

UK: Mini-Notebooks Mask Underlying Weakness

PC Shipments in the UK totalled 3.4 million units in the third quarter of 2008, an increase of 17.5 per cent from the same period in 2007.

The PC market in the UK remained strong as mini-notebook shipments boosted mobile PC growth. However, the 10 per cent decline in the desk-based market showed the real weakness in the underlying business demand.

Table 2
United KingdomPC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q08 (Thousands of Units)

 

Company

3Q08 Shipments

3Q8 Market Share (%)

3Q07 Shipments

3Q07 Market Share (%)

3Q08-3Q07 Growth (%)

Dell Inc.

          708

20.6

           666

22.8

6.4

Acer

          651

18.9

           405

13.8

60.9

Hewlett-Packard

          644

18.7

           702

24.0

-8.2

Toshiba

          289

8.4

           219

7.5

31.8

Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens

          151

4.4

           138

4.7

9.8

Others

          995

28.9

           795

27.2

24.9

Total

       3,438  

100.0

        2,925

100.0

17.5

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs
Source: Gartner (November 2008)

“The roll-out of mini-notebooks has masked the weakness in the UK PC market,” said Mr Atwal. “The demand in the professional market slowed down and vendors’ margins continued to shrink as average selling prices fell by double digits again.”

Dell maintained its No. 1 position accounting for more than 20 per cent market share. Acer moved to second position ahead of HP as a result of an increase in total shipments thanks to strong sales of mini-notebooks. HP saw a decline as it was impacted by poor growth in both the consumer and professional markets. “Dell and HP will have a mini-notebook offering in the fourth quarter of 2008 and hope to regain market share from Acer,” added Mr Atwal.

The demand for consumer notebooks remained healthy with Toshiba and ASUS exhibiting strong growth. The professional market was flat overall with almost all the vendors posting negative growth. “The UK has already seen the effect of the macro economic factors and we believe that the fourth quarter of 2008 and 2009 will be much weaker than originally expected,” said Mr Atwal.

France: Mini-Notebooks Drove Market Growth and ASUS Moved to No. 4 Position

PC shipments in France totalled 2.8 million units in the third quarter of 2008, an increase of 18.7 per cent from the same period in 2007.

The PC market in France remained strong in terms of unit shipments with no sign of slowdown from the consumer market and was also driven by the continued uptake of mini-notebooks.

Table 3
FrancePC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q08 (Thousands of Units)

 

Company

3Q08 Shipments

3Q8 Market Share (%)

3Q07 Shipments

3Q07 Market Share (%)

3Q08-3Q07 Growth (%)

Acer

786

27.6

582

24.1

35.2

Hewlett-Packard

682

24.0

621

20.6

9.9

Dell Inc.

301

10.6

248

15.2

21.7

ASUS

192

6.8

77

1.8

150.4

Toshiba

161

5.7

142

6.7

13.6

Others

722

25.4

727

31.5

2.4

Total

2,845

100.0

2,397

100.0

18.7

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs
Source: Gartner (November 2008)

Gartner estimates that in the third quarter 2008, 259,000 mini-notebooks were shipped, accounting for 15 per cent of total mobile PC shipments. Their shipments reached 95 per cent growth compared with the second quarter of 2008.  “Mini-notebooks have opened a new channel for themselves,” said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner, based in France. “Although retail still remains the largest channel for mini-notebooks in France, we estimate that 28 per cent of mini notebooks were shipped through telecom service providers in the third quarter of 2008.

“PC vendors should continue to develop partnership with Telcos and we expect this channel will expand further in the fourth quarter of 2008 as new telco deals were signed,” said Ms Durand. “The French Government’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research also signed an agreement for the micro portable étudiant (MIPE) programme with Orange and SFR. From January 2009, SFR & Orange will start selling mini-notebooks to students.”

The mobile PC market accounted for 60 per cent of total PC shipments in the third quarter of 2008, with volumes increasing 42.1 per cent year-on-year. In the mobile PC market, the top five vendors accounted for nearly 80 per cent of all mobile PCs.

Deskbound PCs performed a little lower than expected with shipments declining 5 per cent.

While the professional market showed 3.9 per cent growth in the third quarter of 2008, the consumer market exhibited a 32.8 per cent increase.

The third quarter saw ASUS gaining the fourth position, displacing Toshiba. ASUS continued to achieve strong sales with its Eee PC, which represented nearly 50 per cent of all ASUS PC shipments. As a result, the vendor reached the No. 3 spot in the mobile market.

Acer maintained its No.1 position and achieved strong performance with growth across the deskbound and mobile PC segments. The company also achieved good results with its Packard Bell and e-machines.

During the quarter, Acer expanded its Aspire One mini-notebook through the retail channel and remained the leader in the mobile PC segment, with 58 per cent growth year-on-year.

Overall, HP grew below the market average mainly due to its limited presence in the mini-notebook market.

Germany: Shipments of 350, 000 Mini-Notebooks Drove Market Growth

PC shipments in Germany totalled 3.35 million units in the third quarter of 2008, an increase of 24.8 per cent from the same period in 2007. 

Table 4
GermanyPC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q08 (Thousands of Units)

 

Company

3Q08 Shipments

3Q08 Market Share (%)

3Q07 Shipments

3Q07 Market Share (%)

3Q08-3Q07 Growth (%)

Acer

702

20.9

366

13.6

91.8

Hewlett-Packard

436

13.0

350

13.0

24.3

FSC

339

10.1

397

14.8

-14.5

Dell Inc.

317

9.4

262

9.7

21.0

Medion

231

6.9

145

5.4

58.8

Others

1,330

39.7

1,170

43.5

12.0

Total

3,355

100.0

2,689

100.0

24.8

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs
Source: Gartner (November 2008)

“This is a very strong performance in times of recession and uncertainty,” said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner, based in the UK. “Demand in the third quarter of 2008 was buoyant, although we believe that this strong performance resulted from PCs that were still in transit and reached retailers’ shelves in early October.”

In the third quarter of 2008, the PC market was driven by strong mobile PC sales that accounted for 63 per cent of the total PC shipments. Volumes increased 36 per cent compared with the same period in 2007. The desktop market also grew 10 per cent year-on-year.

Acer maintained its No. 1 position exhibiting a strong performance with a 92 per cent increase year-on-year, and shipments of nearly 150,000 mini-notebooks. “We estimate that overall nearly 17 per cent of all mobile PCs shipped into Germany were mini-notebooks, but even without taking into account these low-cost PCs, the mobile PC market saw double digit growth at 13 per cent year-on-year,” said Ms Escherich.

A decline in PC shipments in all segments meant another loss of four percentage points of market share for FSC which has now moved to the No. 3 spot behind HP. FSC suffered from a slow transition to its new product portfolio partly caused by a build-up of channel inventory by some of its competitors. FSC’s share in the home market was clearly picked up by Acer, while its decline in the professional segment helped HP and Dell to increase shipments. Medion took advantage of a very early and successful mini-notebook promotion via ALDI.

Ms Escherich concluded: “We expect that price declines will intensify in 2009 as worldwide concerns for the credit crunch will start to take effect in Germany.”

 

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