Sales growth in European PC markets is slipping back for the first time ever, according to research from Dataquest, even though the PC industry is heading for a successful year globally.
The European home user market's growth rate fell from just over 13 per cent last year to 8.4 per cent, although the business market continues to show healthy growth of 10-11 per cent. Dataquest attributes the negative growth to a combination of taxes and unemployment, which is affecting consumer spend across Europe, with very few exceptions.
The first quarter is traditionally a slow one for PCs, leaving plenty of room for new growth worldwide, and the US PC market grew by 15.2 per cent even in that quarter, in line with Dataquest's forecast of 16.6 per cent for the whole of 1997.
Vendor star turns come as no surprise, dominated by Dell, Compaq and IBM. ?With their fifth consecutive quarter of growth above 50 per cent, Dell continues to succeed with a unique business model in the US," said Bill Schaub, Dataquest's computer group director. "The highest inventory turns in the business... a large, tenacious sales force ... armed with a consistent price advantage, Dell continues to post incredible period-to-period growth rates.?
The company increased its European share, going from 4.5 to 5.9 per cent, and for the first time, moving ahead of HP and Siemens Nixdorf.
Compaq continues to lead worldwide and US shipments, with 17.7 per cent growth in the first quarter, slightly above the industry average. In Europe, Compaq increased market share from 12.3 to 14.4 per cent and claimed 28 per cent of the server market.
IBM advanced marginally from 9.9 to 10 per cent, and increased its server business by 90 per cent. In the US, IBM posted the highest growth rate among the top five PC vendors, but this growth was a result of having a poor quarter last year, says Dataquest.
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