European PC sales show strength in Q2

PC sales in Europe are looking good for 2010, thanks to strong growth reported in the second quarter of the year, according to a report released today by Context.

Sales of PCs in the consumer and business markets grew by 10 percent in 14 European countries in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. This growth was present in both the consumer and business markets, accounting for over half of Europe’s computer business.

“The 10 percent unit growth rate for Q2 2010 was less than the 15.7 percent we saw in the first quarter of this year,” said Marie-Christine Pygott, Senior PC Analyst at Context. “Sequentially, the second quarter drop-off in sales was 4 points greater at 18.3 percent than 2009. However, the growth during this quarter was double the rate in Q2 2009 which is encouraging for the rest of 2010.”

Overall revenue was up by 11.9 percent in the second quarter compared to last year. Much of this increase came from an average 3 percent rise in prices for PCs, which rose from €443.84 in the first quarter of 2010 to €457.37 in the second quarter. The advent of a growing number of higher priced all-in-one PCs, businesses buying more notebooks, and the struggling Euro have all been factors in this average price increase.

Desktop PC sales were up by 9.1 percent, while notebook PC sales were up 9.4 percent. Tablet PCs, however, were the big winners, with a growth of 257 percent thanks to the launch of the iPad in May.

Netbooks grew 14.1 percent, but this is seen as a decline in that market, which previously had much stronger growth. Context believes the netbook market has matured now. The tablet craze that has hit the market has most likely also contributed to the slowdown in netbook sales, with many netbook users jumping ship for a tablet PC.

Germany was the big leader in terms of PC sales, with a very healthy 36.8 percent growth. Italy and the UK got joint second place with a 15.6 percent growth, while the next two places went to France at 8.1 percent and Spain at 0.2 percent. Other countries saw sharp declines, particularly Denmark, which saw sales drop by 20 percent.

“The signs for 2010 are looking encouraging,” Pygott added. She said that despite a weakening Euro and the price hike that has resulted, there are a number of factors that will keep the strong sales momentum going, including back-to-school sales and the growing adoption of Windows 7 now that businesses are beginning to spend in their IT departments again.