Euro market no scapegoat as PC sales grow

IDC and Dataquest have reported the European PC market will grow by at least eight per cent this year, despite claims by US PC and chip vendors the European market is to blame for poor worldwide sales performance.

The UK is set to grow by 9.2 per cent, according to IDC, while the whole Western European IT market will account for 29 per cent on sales of $197b.

Dataquest says the European PC market will grow by as much as 10.9 per cent this year, compared to 10 per cent last year and a massive 24 per cent in 1995.

"That is not a bad growth rate," said Jackie O'Dwyer, senior European PC market analyst at Dataquest, "but most growth will be in the professional market. This will make it increasingly important for vendors and channels to understand corporate replacement cycles. Also a number of milestones in the technology map, such as the Pentium II, which will be the price/performance CPU of choice by Q3 next year and the Year 2000 issue will help trigger sales."

A number of manufacturers, including Gateway 2000 and Cyrix have bemoaned the European market over the past few months, but research suggests that the good times could be ahead.

AST marketing manager Con Mallon said that the European PC market is "starting to mature" and admitted that Q1 and Q2 sales were "quite poor."

He added "There were lots of circumstances such as the general election but also it seemed as though the market was holding its breath before the next movement towards new technology requirements."