UK's PC demand to soar for Christmas

Market finally shrugging off year 2000 slump, says IDC

According to new findings from IDC, PC sales across Europe -- led by the UK -- will be stronger in the third quarter, followed by even more robust growth in Q4, as the Christmas season creates demand for new machines.

"Q2 was really slower than we anticipated, frankly it was worse than Q1, it was quite disappointing" said IDC analyst Andy Brown. "We have been saying we expect it to pick up, with marginal improvement in Q3. Q4 will be stronger, driven by consumer demand."

In the second quarter of this year, Dell Computer was still on top of the heap in the UK market, its market share at 17.7 percent, slightly down from last year's Q2 market share of 18.7 percent. Compaq followed closely with 15.5 percent of the UK market, even with its position the year before.

The next biggest UK PC vendor, Hewlett-Packard, was far behind the top two with a 7.7 percent share.

In Western Europe, PC sales in Q3 are predicted to be 14.5 percent higher than the same quarter last year. The UK will rise above the average with 16.5 percent growth, Brown said. Worldwide growth for the quarter is expected to be about 18.5 percent, largely driven by the Asia/Pacific region.

For the last quarter of the year the figures look even better: nearly 19 percent year-on-year growth for Western Europe, with the UK market growing nearly 20 percent.

Demand has been particularly slow for corporations, who replaced many PCs last year to head off the Millennium Bug. But IDC expects big businesses to show stronger demand moving toward the end of the year, especially in the UK. "The UK is picking up more strongly in terms of corporate recovery," Brown said. "It hasn't been affected quite as much [as the rest of Europe]. France was particularly badly affected."

More details to follow.

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