European notebook prices fell 25% during Q3

Q2 fall followed by big dip last quarter

European notebook prices are shrinking fast. A new mobile system will today set you back around three-quarters of what it would have cost you a year ago, market watcher IDC reported today.

And notebook prices are just over 42 per cent less than they were in August 2000.

During September, European notebook prices dropped by 1.7 per cent over August's average. That drop was enough to bring the overall figure for Q3 down 10.6 per cent on Q2's average price. Compare Q3's average price to that seen at the start of the year, and prices are down 25 per cent, said IDC.

The reason, the company said, was fierce competition between vendors, who are using price as their main competitive weapon in a bid to stimulate demand.

The effect is worse in the retail channel, but the upshot will be a 50 per cent increase in consumer notebook sales during Q3 over the same period last year. Business are buying more notebooks too, albeit at a lower rate, and IDC reckons that overall, EMEA notebook shipments will rise 29 per cent between Q3 2003 and Q3 2002.

Across the notebook, desktop and x86 server markets, European prices fell 7.1 per cent between Q2 and Q3, and 20 per cent between Q3 2003 and Q3 2002. Compared to August 2000, prices during Q3 were just over half what they were back then, IDC's figures show.

"This third quarter has been another challenging one for PC vendors," said Karine Paoli, research director for IDC's European Personal Computing group. "With many countries still in recession and business renewal cycles continuing to be delayed and postponed to 2004, vendors had no other choice than to remain very active on the promotions and marketing front to stimulate demand."

It's not going to get any better for them, she added. "With limited hope for a major economic recovery before the second half of 2004, pricing will remain a key volume generation weapon in the fourth quarter and into 2004," she said. ®

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