The PC market in Central and Eastern Europe expanded a healthy 27.2% in shipments to 10.28 mln units in 2004. According to IDC, revenue jumped by 32.4% to more than $9 bln even as prices for desktops and laptops fell. The revenue surge is largely attributable to the sharp 87.5% rise in portable shipments across the region. Although growth will vary from country to country, IDC expects it to remain strong, reaching 22.6% in shipments this year and 18.3% in 2006. Revenue growth will outpace shipments in 2005, hitting 20%, and then slow to 14.7% in 2006.
As the country with the largest population, Russia was the largest single country market, constituting just under half of the region's PC shipments in 2004. Poland was the second largest market with 13.0% of volume, and Ukraine the third largest with 8.3%. Russia was also one of the fastest growing markets, which reflects the general trend of markets being more dynamic further east. In the new EU member states, the popularity of laptops has taken off, and these machines accounted for more than 30.7% of shipments in the Czech Republic, 26.1% in Hungary, and 22.4% in Slovakia last year. Nevertheless, with the exception of Slovakia, the laptop markets grew fastest in the east, with the Russian laptop market exploding a dramatic 184.1% in shipments in 2004 - almost three times the growth rate in Slovakia (64.8%) and Ukraine (63.1%), and more than three times the rate in Romania (59.3%).