European Apple Sales on the Rise as Industry Slows Down

Apple continues to excel in the UK and Europe, growing sales at a significantly faster rate than the industry average. New data from the analysts at IDC shows the company continues to make gains. "In the UK and Western Europe, Apple shipment growths outperformed the overall PC market in both notebook and desktop form factors in Q1 2006," observed IDC senior research analyst Michael Larner.

Apple notebooks drive UK sales boom

Apple held a first quarter market share of 2.9 per cent in the UK overall, when desktop and notebook sales are combined. Individually, it took 3.4 per cent of the UK market for notebooks and grabbed 2.65 per cent of the desktop market. This 3.4 per cent market share of UK notebook sales is a 50.15 per cent year-on-year improvement for the company, the analysts said. That's far ahead of the industry average, which saw 20.44 per cent improvement in the period.

Mac desktop sales rise as industry stagnates

Apple also grew its desktop sales by 27.38 per cent, year on year. While this delivered only a 2.65 per cent market share, other vendors fared far worse in desktop sales - the overall value of the desktop computer market fell 6.16 per cent year on year, IDC said.

In Western Europe, Apple holds 2.6 per cent of the desktop market and 2.5 per cent of the notebook market. In unit sales that's up 11.7 per cent and 18.3 per cent, year on year. Meanwhile the overall EMEA market climbed only 1.8 per cent and 2 per cent, leaving Apple rising at a much faster rate than the rest of the PC pack.

Specific markets explained

Inevitably, pan-industry shipment figures offer a slanted picture of the true extent of Apple's success. Critics of such figures point out that they include server shipments and also large installations of corporate PCs, which are used only for specific purposes. Given Apple's limited presence in the corporate markets, market share figures will always be set against the company.

Macworld UK asked IDC research director Karine Paoli to offer her observations about the markets Apple targets. She's optimistic for the company.

"Apple is certainly doing well at the moment across our region," she explained. "The company has been able to not only leverage from the momentum created around the iPod, but also from a good go-to-market strategy: refreshed products, price-positioning, and improvements in its supply chain with more use of its two-tier distribution channel to reach a wider market," she said.

Macs define education, graphics, media markets

Apple also remains strong in education, graphics and media markets, she remarked. Notebooks remain the secret sauce: "The refresh of Apple's product lines, in particular in the notebook space, along with the move to Intel processors should help drive continued expansion throughout 2006, in both the consumer and business space," she remarked.

Clearly as growth rates across the industry decline, maintaining its lead won't be an easy ride for Apple, she warned: "It faces fierce competition from all other players, as the market is intensively competitive at the moment and we do not see this softening in the second half of the year," she warned.

News source: Macworld UK

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