Fri, Feb 03, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Taiwanese PC vendors to face tough time in Europe

MARKET TURBULENCE:Whatever happens as a result of the eurozone crisis, consumer confidence will stay low and local PC manufacturers will face a hard time

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taiwanese PC vendors will continue to have a hard time in the European personal computer market as it will take time to solve the eurozone’s debt problems, market research firm Gartner Inc said yestersday.

“There are a lot of solutions to the European debt crisis, but there is no immediate idea whether these solutions will succeed or consumer confidence will be restored,” said Tracy Tsai, principal research analyst at Gartner.

“It will call for certain actions, such as tighter government budgets, to make these solutions work,” she said.

“Even so, I do not believe consumer confidence will recover immediately,” she added

Tsai noted that Europe currently has a lower share of the global PC market, accounting for 30 percent in the second half of last year, compared with 33 percent to 34 percent in the past.

Taiwanese manufacturers Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) generated 50 percent of their revenue from the European market in the fourth quarter of 2010, but that figure dropped to about 40 percent in the third quarter last year after the sovereign debt problems hit, Tsai said.

PC shipments in Europe, including desktop and notebook computers, are projected to grow 2.4 percent year-on-year this year, much lower than the 9 percent forecast for Latin America, 10 percent for Asia and 15 percent to 20 percent for China.

“We remain conservative about the worldwide PC market in the first half of [this year], but we think the situation will improve in the second half of the year with the launch of the new CPU for Ultrabook laptops and Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 software,” Tsai said.

According to International Data Corp. (IDC), the PC market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) continued to contract for the fourth consecutive quarter in the last quarter of last year, although the decline was not as steep as expected.

The market continued to be adversely affected by the debt crisis in the eurozone, which led to more cautious business investments, while consumers’ budgets continued to be dominated by the purchase of media tablets and smartphones, particularly in Western Europe, the IDC said.

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