Component Shortages, Brexit, and Yellow Vest Movement Dampen the PC Market in 2018Q4 in EMEA, Says IDC

The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) traditional PC market (desktops, notebooks, and workstations) came in negative in the fourth quarter of 2018, with the market declining by -5.8  percent year-over-year (YoY) and totaling 19.6 million units, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).


The commercial space posted a slight decline of -1.1 percent YoY, supported by ongoing device renewals and the increasing adoption of Windows 10, while the consumer space suffered a heavier decline (-10.6 percent YoY), recording a decrease in both desktops and notebooks.

The Western European traditional PC market registered an overall decline of 4.7 percent YoY, with a slight commercial growth (1.3 percent YoY) that was insufficient to offset the impact of the heavy consumer decline (-11.5% YoY). The commercial segment improved from the previous quarter driven by a stable notebook performance.

Mobility adoption continues to gain traction within enterprises, resulting in the ongoing growth of notebooks, particularly those with ultramobile form factors. On the consumer side, both product categories experienced comparably weak performances this quarter, with the DACH region, France, and UKI all posting double-digit declines.

"The impact of the CPU shortage is really starting to be felt by major vendors, with available supplies restricting their capability to meet seasonal demand," said Liam Hall, senior research analyst, IDC Western Europe Personal Computing. "Furthermore, holiday shipments were also inhibited by the disruptive macroeconomic and political scenarios unfolding in multiple larger economies, such us Brexit and the Yellow Vest movement, resulting in greatly diminished consumer growth prospects for Western Europe."

Nevertheless, ultramobile, convertible and gaming devices showed strong signs of resilience this quarter, as their attractive designs and tailored use cases enabled them to garner sufficient consumer interest to drive growth.

The Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region in 2018Q4 recorded 1.0 percent YoY growth. Both the consumer and commercial segments remained afloat thanks to several deals and increased orders from retailers to prevent shortages of products in the holiday season.

Notebooks recorded 2.1 percent YoY growth, whereas desktop shipments remained negative. Russia has been undoubtedly the booster of regional growth, despite swings in local currency during the year and uncertainty around imposed sanctions.

"The Intel CPU shortage also impacted the market in the quarter, but to a lesser extent than forecast," said Nikolina Jurisic, product manager, IDC CEMA. "Several projects recorded in the public and corporate sectors reported healthy growth in the commercial sector in markets such as Romania, which helped the market to perform better than expected."

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region reported the second consecutive quarter of strong decline. Total shipments contracted by 18.2 percent YoY," said Stefania Lorenz, Associate VP CEMA. "The PC market was kept from a downfall thanks to few large tender deliveries in the commercial segment. Saudi Arabia reported a very strong performance with wins in the consumer and commercial sectors. On the other hand, the Turkish PC market sank 60 percent YoY.

Vendor Highlights

Traditional PC market consolidation persisted, and the top 3 vendors' share continued to grow in 2018Q4. The top 3 players accounted for 65.6 percent of total market volume, compared with 63.4 percent in 2017Q4.

HP Inc experienced weak results from notebooks, which coupled with weaker desktop performance drove the overall shipments decline of 6.8 percent YoY.

Lenovo (including Fujitsu) increased its market share in the quarter due to stronger commercial demand for desktops and notebooks.

Dell Inc. excelled once again in the commercial segment where desktops grew double digit while notebooks increased single digit on a YoY basis.

Acer experienced solid performance in big markets such as Russia, France, and the U.K., which contributed to the company's flat to slightly growing market share.

Apple managed shipment growth with the launch of its new MacBook Air and Mac mini, despite continued erosion in the EMEA market.

(For more information visit