Cheap laptops boost PC sales

The continued strength in the notebook market and the arrival of new low-cost ultra-portables sees PC shipment growth exceed expectations in EMEA, according to IDC.

Despite global economic pressure and rising energy costs, there has been a 24.5 per cent increase in PC shipments in the EMEA for the second quarter of 2008.

The growth can in part be attributed to the continued strength of the notebook market and the arrival of the low-cost ultra-portables, according to IDC.

Notebooks continued to drive overall market growth at over 53 per cent year-on-year, while desktops also performed better than expected at 0.7 per cent.

Demand for notebooks also remained high in Western Europe, with year-on-year growth of 60 per cent, driven by fierce vendor competition, buoyant marketing activity in the retail channel and a strong euro that helped vendors drive aggressive marketing.

HP continued to drive growth at close to 30 per cent across EMEA. Similarly, Dell reported 27 per cent overall, while Toshiba reported a staggering 72 per cent growth.

Karine Paoli, IDC's associate vice president for EMEA personal computing research, said the market should remain optimistic about growth for the second half of 2008.

"Business may exert spending caution, but replacement activity will continue to take place and the development of lower-cost offerings, with a plethora of products planned to hit the retail shelves in 2H08, will support continued traction in the consumer space and drive buoyancy in the back-to-school and Christmas season again this year."

Senior research analyst for IDC's EMEA PC tracker Eszter Morvay was also keen to emphasise the growing popularity for lower-cost ultra-portables.

"A range of new low-cost ultra-portables with improved specifications is lined up to hit the shelves for the all-important back-to-school season, which will provide an additional boost in the consumer notebook space in 2H08."