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 U.S. 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 unfavorable 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 stabilization 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. "However, if you take Bing out of the comparison, the consumer market would end the year flat, which is an encouraging sign of stabilization."
The combination of various economic and political factors led all three sub-regions to contract in 2015Q4. Western Europe (WE) declined by 13.1%, while in line with expectations, Central and Eastern Europe CEE) contracted 24.7%. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) had the weakest performance, as shipments were down by 28.9%. 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, WE was down by 13.8% over 2014, and CEMA by 24.6%. At the same time, 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.
"2015 was clearly a very difficult year for the PC market. Demand remained weak across all four quarters with double-digit contractions in CEE and MEA," said Stefania Lorenz, associate VP, IDC CEMA. "The CEE region contracted by 26.4% year-on-year in 2015. The region was negatively affected by the devaluations of local currencies and high PC inventory levels left from 2014. The worst impact on purchasing power was felt in the Eastern part of the region: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan as well as the Rest of CEE subregion. Other factors that prevented the market from rebounding in the commercial space included government budget freezes."
"In Q4 2015 the PC market in the CEE region was in line with the forecast at -24.7% year-on-year," said Nikolina Jurisic, product manager, IDC CEMA. "Viewing the country mix, the "star" was Hungary, with a positive result of 11.5% growth year-on-year thanks to last minute deals in the public sector. The other countries in the CEE region reported PC market declines. In many cases the unfavorable comparison with Q414 (and the Bing push) resulted in a sharper decline for Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Croatia. In 2015, the MEA region declined by 22.8% year-on-year affected by the continual political instability and economic uncertainties, in addition to currency fluctuations, low oil prices and a lack of projects and IT spending. In Q4 2015 the MEA region contracted by 28.9%. The biggest markets — Turkey and the Rest of Middle East (ROME) sub-region — reported the worst results, with an annual decline of 43% and 51%, respectively. The security concerns in ROME continue to impact PC demand negatively."
While there were some changes in the ranking, consolidation continued with the top 5 vendors now representing more than 72% of the market.
- HP performed slightly better than the market and gained further share at 23.7% in EMEA. The vendor results in desktop were above average and contributed to the positive difference.
- Lenovo maintained second position. The vendor was focusing on inventory depletion and suffered in the difficult MEA context.
- ASUS reached 3rd place and showed strong growth, in particular in Western Europe. Overall the vendor posted good results after a weaker 2014.
- Dell grew faster than the market and consequently gained share in EMEA. The vendor continued to gain share thanks to a strong execution in the commercial area and an attractive product portfolio.
- Acer posted a softer performance, in part due to an unfavorable year-on-year comparison. The vendor focused further on inventory reduction while gaining traction on its Windows 10 consumer products.
Shipments are branded shipments for all form factors (including desktops and notebooks) and exclude x86 servers as well as OEM sales for all vendors. Data for all vendors is reported for calendar periods.