Notebook sales in the small to medium sized enterprise (SME) sector are driving PC sales in Europe with impressive year-on-year growth, according to the latest research from IDC.
Overall notebook shipments in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region reached 2.9 million units, an increase of 19.5 per cent, compared to 9.4 million units of desktops representing a decline of 0.7 per cent.
IDC analyst Andy Brown said: "The SME market has been the most dynamic area for the last two years, and particularly over the last year. This has offset the slowdown in the corporate market.
"The fact that the price of notebooks has come down, and is comparable to desktops, has meant that in some cases they are replacing desktops."
The biggest winner in the notebook market is indirect selling Acer which has charged up to second from fourth at the same time last year. Direct selling Dell is demoted to fourth from third.
Acer's strong channel play has contributed significantly to its success, according to Brown.
"Acer was the top performing notebook vendor in the fourth quarter of 2003 and this had a lot to do with its strong reseller and retail relationships," he said.
IDC has also predicted that the overall EMEA PC market will grow 4.7 per cent in 2003 compared to 1.8 per cent last year, and that notebooks will continue to lead the way.
"The growth rate in desktops will improve, but very slowly, and will nowhere near match the dynamics of the notebook market," explained Brown.
Reseller Compusys, which sells Toshiba, Samsung and Fujitsu Siemens notebooks, has given notebooks top priority after a good 2002.
"This market has been fantastic for us over the last 12 months," said Gordon Davies, Compusys commercial director.
He added that the company has done particularly well in the education sector with the 'Laptops for Teachers' initiative, as well as in the health sector.
"We could not give more focus to notebooks than we currently do," he said.
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