A review of PC sales towards the Christmas season last year, shows PC sales across Western European distribution with solid growth of almost 20% in the final three months of 2014. Compared to previous years, there was no pre-Christmas surge for tablets but quite the opposite: sales slumped to a loss in the quarter.
Consumer demand for PCs and an increase in notebook sales were the key drivers of the resurgence across European PC markets. The consumer segment grew 23.9% in Q4 as opposed to business growth of 14.9%, while notebooks made similarly good progress (23.4%) compared to more conservative 10.9% growth on the desktop side.
On the consumer side, the impressive 23.9% growth came thanks to a home PC replacement push and efforts to promote cheap, low-end notebook systems. In addition, a push in budget consumer notebooks that started in the third quarter of 2014 intensified in the run up to Christmas. Convertibles and 2-in-1 notebooks have also started to become increasingly popular amongst consumers.
But it was a bad end to 2014 for the tablet market, which last year saw a pre-Christmas rush driven by low-end Android devices. Total unit sales declined by 9.2% year-on-year in Q4 2014, compared to a 38% increase the year previous, primarily down to a poor performance on Android devices and longer than expected tablet replacement cycles. In fact, while Android tablet sales slumped 21.9%% in Q4, iPad sales showed small growth of 4.5%.