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Gartner: Europe Sees 36% Drop in PC Sales as Spending Tails Off

Analyst Gartner’s latest market data for PC shipments shows a significant 35.9% decline in EMEA compared with a year ago.

Mikako Kitagawa, a director analyst at Gartner, said: “The continued impact of political unrest, inflationary pressures, interest rate increases and a pending recession has culminated in another massive decline in the EMEA PC market. None of the top six vendors were immune from the collapse, all losing more than a third of their shipment volumes year-over-year.”

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 55.2 million units in the first quarter of 2023, a 30% decrease from the first quarter of 2022, according to Gartner. The analyst attributed this decline to “an unfavourable combination of oversupply and continued low PC demand due to economic uncertainties and a lack of purchase motivation”.

“PC pricing pressures intensified during the quarter as vendors offered considerable discounts to clear inventory,” Kitagawa added. “To drive demand, vendors temporarily reduced average selling prices (ASPs) of PCs already in the channels, but ASPs of new PCs shipping into the channels remained elevated due to inflation-driven supply chain cost increases.”

Significantly, Gartner reported that PC manufacturers sought to protect margins rather than pursue market share by lowering prices. This has resulted in a moderate increase in the ASP of new PCs in the channels in 2023 as manufacturers passed the cost increases for new PCs to users.

Gartner’s figures show that the top PC manufacturers in the worldwide market remained unchanged in the first quarter of 2023, with Lenovo maintaining number one spot in shipments with a 23.3% market share. However, Gartner said Lenovo recorded the steepest annual shipment decline in its corporate history over two quarters. While the US was a particularly challenging market for Lenovo, the company had modest growth in Japan, driven by end of fiscal year PC purchases.

Data for HP shows it experienced a double-digit drop in shipments for a seventh consecutive quarter. Gartner reported that HP shipments in EMEA dropped by 37% compared with a year ago, but declined less steeply in the US market.

Similarly, Dell saw its fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline. According to Gartner, Dell’s decline was largely driven by the weak business PC market.

“Business PC demand was slow overall this quarter, but the small and mid-size business (SMB) market was especially weak due to economic uncertainties,” said Kitagawa. “IT has remained a top area for SMB spending as organisations recognise the importance of leveraging technology for growth, but PCs are often the first area to face budget cuts as the product life can be extended. In contrast, spending in other technology segments, such as software and IT services, is expected to grow in 2023.”

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