IDC confirms netbook sales surge

Another analyst report out this week has confirmed the PC market in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region is being propped up by surging laptop and netbook sales.

IDC today said buoyancy in the notebook market and additional momentum created by what it calls the new "mini notebook" segment helped push total PC shipments 27 per cent higher in the third quarter of 2008 compared to the same period last year.

The findings echo those of fellow analyst firm Gartner, which said earlier this week that Acer had ousted HP from the regional top spot in terms of PC units sold, largely because of its booming netbook business.

The preliminary IDC research found notebooks continued to drive overall market growth at over 52 per cent year-on-year, as consumer demand showed no sign of slowing down in Western Europe and continued to grow in Central Europe, and the Middle East and Africa, while the market also benefited from sustained demand in the business space.

The free netbook offers starting to fill the mobile broadband market particularly benefited the likes of Acer and Asus, as Eszter Morvay, senior research analyst for IDC's EMEA PC tracker index, said: "Although the retail channel remained the primary route-to-market to reach consumers, mini notebook volumes were further boosted by the rising number of telco deals across several countries, enticing customers with free laptops bundled with mobile broadband."

While the retail shelves were dominated by Asus in the first half of the year, the competition heated up over the summer months with Acer deploying new models for a strong push across the region, the report said.

The two earned a combined market share of over 80 per cent, leading Morvay to add: "Mini notebooks are clearly shaking up the competitive landscape, which is likely to get even more fierce in the pre-Christmas season with several vendors launching products from October, and potentially pushing mini notebooks volumes in EMEA towards the 4 million range in fourth quarter of 2008."

According to IDC, the top four notebook vendors during the last quarter were Acer, in first place, followed by HP, Dell and Asus.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.