Tablets continued to dominate computer spending in the final quarter of 2010, but failed to halt a deceleration in the consumer and corporate markets over the year, according to the latest EMEA figures from IDC.
The analyst firm's PC Tracker for Q4 and FY 2010 puts total EMEA PC shipments in the fourth quarter at 31.5 million, representing disappointing year-on-year growth of 2.4 per cent, nearly half the 4.3 per cent expected.
The situation in the corporate sphere was even worse, seeing a return to negative trends after three consecutive quarters of recovery, according to IDC.
Enterprise PC sales in western Europe declined 1.1 per cent in Q4 against a forecast increase of 6.9 per cent, and reached just 2.4 per cent growth for the full year.
SMEs were the worst hit as spending remained cautious owing to economic uncertainty, while public sector organisations hit by austerity measures in many regions also reined in spending.
However, IDC said that the outlook for 2011 is more promising. The PC market is forecast to experience 11 per cent growth, supported by accelerated business renewals and consumer market expansion.
Tablets will continue to cannibalise mini-notebook demand, and a price war between tablet manufacturers will benefit consumers and have a positive impact on demand levels.
Corporate sales are also likely to recover owing to pent-up demand, and IDC is predicting "healthy double-digit growth" across the region, although the public sector will still struggle owing to ongoing austerity measures.
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