The PC market in Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) performed above expectations during the first quarter of 2005, with a 14.5 per cent increase in unit shipments compared with the same period in 2004, according to preliminary results from Gartner.

Unit shipments totalled over 17 million, as vendors implemented aggressive pricing strategies to maintain market share.

Demand for business PCs slowed during the first quarter. This was balanced by stronger growth in the consumer market, combined with sales of mobile PCs to the small and medium-sized business segment, which remained vibrant.

IBM sell-off prompts rethink

“The IBM/Lenovo deal caused many large businesses to re-examine the viability of the major PC suppliers,” says Ranjit Atwal, analyst for Gartner’s computing platform group in EMEA.

“This may have contributed to the weakness in corporate replacement activity. Dell and IBM felt the greatest impact of this.”

While IBM achieved average market growth in the US, shipments in EMEA were weaker. Its transactional business performed well, however, growth was more challenging in the slowing corporate market.