Sales of desktop PCs and servers to corporates fell by 11 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively last year, as spending continued to be hit by investment cutbacks. But the situation is likely to improve this year, according to IDC.
The researcher said that corporate capital investment cuts continued to have an impact, with a slowdown in PC renewals, new equipment purchases and notebook sales as companies postpone non-essential hardware replacements and mobile rollouts until 2002.
But IDC confirmed that Windows XP and Pentium 4 price reductions from Intel boosted the market.
Sales of Intel servers declined by only 1.9 per cent, which IDC said was the result of renewals and sustained investments by small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Rita Sfeir, a research analyst in IDC's European PC group, said: "The prospects of a return to positive growth in the first half of 2002 remain limited as the market continues to suffer from restricted investments.
"The second half of the year should, however, display healthier trends driven by a rebound in corporate investments and a boost in notebook sales."
The SME market and consumer sales remained strong, and the UK market overall exceeded expectations. Total PC shipments declined by 7.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2001 year-on-year, leading to an overall decline of 5.2 per cent for the fiscal year.
Notebook sales to large corporates continued to be low, with demand mostly driven by SMEs. "Sustained consumer sales, lifted by relatively strong demand for notebooks in the retail channel, helped limit further sales erosion," said Sfeir.
Dell remained the market leader despite a decline of 2.2 per cent in sales. IDC pointed to its aggressive pricing policy expansion into the SME market as helping it to hold its position.
Compaq stayed in second place, but saw shipments decline by 7.8 per cent. NEC remained in third place, and saw 5.1 per cent growth, while Hewlett Packard, with growth of 2.6 per cent, stayed in fourth position.
Tiny remained fifth, affected by increased competition from international consumer and SME focused vendors.
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