PC market bounces back unexpectedly in 2014

Our latest reports show that PC unit sales across Western European distribution grew by 15.6% from January-November compared to the same time last year. Sales peaked at 21.7% year-on-year in Q3 before dropping slightly to 16.9% growth for the first two months of Q4.

That much-improved performance was mainly driven in the first half of the year by business sales, especially in the desktop sector, thanks to XP migration. Microsoft officially withdrew support for the popular OS in April, so many organisations waited until then to refresh their stock of machines. As a result, business-focused PC sales grew 29.8% in Q2 2014, before slowing to single digits by early Q4 as the XP migration effect lessened.

As business PC growth slowed in the second half of the year, consumer PC sales rebounded from the weak performance registered last year, especially in the notebooks category.

This was partially due again to XP migration but also a need to refresh ageing home PCs and a slowdown in demand for tablets which freed up money for notebook buys. However, the biggest factor was the heavy promotion of budget laptops – especially following Microsoft’s announcement of “Windows with Bing”, which flooded the market with highly affordable devices.

Throughout this Christmas season consumers will have a wide choice of budget laptops to choose from and will be presented with more tablets in the run-up to Christmas with tablet pricing expected to be aggressive due to strong supply and high competition.

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