PC SHIPMENTS in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region have returned to growth, as consumer uptake of tablets has given way to the need for a physical keyboard.
According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), shipments for the second quarter of 2014 hit 21.9 million units, representing a 10.5 percent year on year increase and marking a return to growth after seven consecutive quarters of shrinking sales, with most of the growth centred in Western Europe, which saw a 25 percent jump in sales.
"Retailers and etailers seem more confident as new product designs and features better positioned price-wise are now generating higher sales and not only just interest," said Chrystelle Labesque, research manager at IDC EMEA Personal Computing.
"Promotional activities and vendors' preparation for the back-to-school period further supported the market. The level of inventory will have to be monitored closely as back-to-school sales progress during August and September."
The IDC report suggests that the pace of PC replacement has been accelerated by the demise of the Windows XP operating system, however this has not translated into higher sales for Microsoft, with sales of its flagship Windows 8.x operating system continuing to stagnate compared to its predecessors, which continue to maintain high market shares.
The study also notes the continuing impact of Chromebooks, but this is tempered by limited availability. Quarter three figures might show significant market share growth, however, as Google announced availability in more countries at the beginning of June.
Eastern Europe sales were down six percent year on year, which IDC attributed to political instability in the region.
By brand, HP retained its lead with an above the curve rise of 27 percent year on year. Acer's recovery continued as it took third place, and MSI, a company better known for its motherboards than its laptops, entered the top ten for the first time at number nine. µ