PC shipments in Central and Eastern Europe totaled 6.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, down 7.1% compared to the same quarter of 2012, says a preliminary report from research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
Desktop PC shipments reached 2.3 million units in the last quarter of 2013, declining 4.1% compared with the same quarter of the previous year, while portable PC shipments reached 3.9 million units, down 8.8%. The market contracted in line with expectations; shipments were supported by improving commercial demand while consumer spending remained pretty low.
The preliminary results reflect a market that is still struggling with economic pressures, high unemployment, and unfavorable exchange rates with some countries. Most consumer IT purchasing decisions remain price-driven, which has resulted in strong competition from lower-priced tablets and smartphones.
Moreover, in order to maintain a lean inventory, distribution channels were cautious in ordering during the quarter, while the fact that mini-notebooks had ceased production also contributed to negative performance in the consumer portable PC space this quarter. “The commercial sector helped brighten PC market development in CEE in the last quarter of 2013, with a drop of only 2.2% year on year,” said Nikolina Jurisic, product manager at IDC CEMA Systems. “In order to maximize year-end budgets, many projects and public tender deliveries were recorded in countries such as Russia, Poland, the CzechRepublic, and Hungary.”
“Unfortunately, the improvements tracked in the last quarter of 2013 were not sufficient to return the PC market to a growth path,” said Stefania Lorenz, associate vice-president at IDC CEMA Systems, “We do expect to see renewals in the commercial space and a slow increase in consumer confidence throughout 2014, which will give some fuel to low levels of market demand, but PC shipments will most likely continue to post negative year-on-year growth rates, especially in the near future.”
Lenovo, HP, and Asus were the top-ranked vendors in CEE in 4Q13; together, they accounted for 48.3% market share. While Lenovo and HP were strong in the commercial sector and benefited from tenders and project deliveries throughout the region, Asus’ strategy relied on new product launches and attractive pricing aimed at the consumer sector.