The PC market is experiencing brutal declines in Portugal. Manufacturers admit withdrawal of investment – Computers

After two years of exceptional growth in the personal computer market, the figures for the second quarter show an outage that Francisco Jerónimo, vice president of data and analytics at IDC Europe at IDC, classifies as brutal. “Sales in Portugal fell by 34% in notebook and desktop units,” he explained to SAPO TEK,

The numbers reflect that completion of the education program, but also a new phase of the needs of companies and consumers who have invested heavily in this area in the last two years due to the persistence of professionals in remote work after the COVID-19 pandemic that forced work from home or hybrid models and distance learning, along with the Government’s investment in the Digital School program that led to the purchase of thousands of laptops for students and teachers.

“The main drop comes from the education area, where sales fell by 86% with the end of the equipment purchase program,” justifies Francisco Jerónimo. But consumption also fell by more than 14%, and sales in the SME segment are also suffering the effects of investment withdrawal, with a 32% drop.

Another relevant element is increase in the average price of computers, above 20%. “Manufacturers have focused on producing more expensive equipment,” points out the Vice President of Data & Analytics at IDC Europe, noting that in the last two years, there was a lack of products that would respond to demand, and that this also affected the suspension of promotional campaignswhile consumers began to appreciate the quality of their equipment more and invest more to have a better product.

“By the end of the year we will see a drop in prices and strong campaigns for producers to get rid of stocks,” predicts Francisco Jerónimo.

As for the numbers, in the second quarter, 176 thousand computers, notebooks and desktop computers were sold in Portugal, when in the first months of the year this number exceeded 465 thousand, and in the last quarter of 2021 it reached 606 thousand. Lenovo led the sales figures with 37.9% of total sales, followed by HP with 19.9% ​​and Asus with 9.5%. Dell with 8.7% and Apple with 3.8% round out the top 5, which is much more unbalanced this quarter than usual, since in the last periods of the analysis HP has been in the first place several times, which has now given way to Leno.

Back to normal?

Pedro Coelho, head of the PC category at HP Portugalrecognizes the change in trend in the second quarter, but reminds that “the market is returning to the demand levels recorded in the pre-pandemic periods, i.e. in 2019.” and that although this is reflected in negative rates of 15 to 20% in units, compared to 2020 and 2021.

“It should be noted that demand is still higher than in the years immediately before the pandemic,” says Pedro Coelho.

Unparalleled growth over the past two years, fueled by the shift to remote work and distance learning, has helped consumers catch up. The economic situation, with war and inflation creating even more uncertainty about the future, meant that personal and family budgets had to be reconsidered.

On the business side, there is a positive note and Pedro Coelho recognizes that greater stability is maintained in medium and large companies and in public organizations. Only small and medium-sized enterprises have a greater negative effect due to lower investment capacity.

The same trend points out Carlos Cunha, Commercial Director of Dynabook Portugalwhich recognizes that despite the demand that still exists in the corporate segment, in order to train teams for hybrid work, and therefore Expectations are positive, but “from the acceleration of the implementation of the PRR program as well as the achievements of the digital transformation program in perspective”.

In the case of Huawei, the sales figures are positive and do not follow the market trend. Yin Lingyun, product manager of the notebook category of the consumer unit at Huawei Portugal refers to continuous sales growth and an increase of 18% year-on-year, with a market share of almost 9% in notebook computers. Still, component shortages, rising inflation with the war and logistical problems have also taken a toll, but the official says Huawei has managed to differentiate itself.

“Although with the war and the end of the pandemic, consumers did not prioritize investing in technology, it is true that they did Huawei has continued to grow and mark its position in the strengths that distinguish it from other brands in the market.”, defends Yin Lingyun.

Microsoft Portugal also says that it has managed, together with its partners, to mitigate a significant part of these negative factors. “In the enterprise market, the evolution of Surface devices has been solid, and we recently ended the fiscal year with double-digit growthon top of the same double-digit growth in the previous year”.

“The shift to hybrid work models reinforces Microsoft’s vision that today’s worker needs mobility and productivity – from anywhere,” he explains. João Moura, head of the Surface business segment at Microsoft Portugal.

Higher prices and more demanding consumers

Buying trends are also influenced by the profile of Portuguese consumers. Carlos Cunha says that “Portuguese customers are trying to achieve the best balance between portability, performance and build quality. Unlike what happens with other types of equipment, the cycle of buying new computers is longer than it is, for example, with smartphones, so the Portuguese try to maximize those three points when choosing”.

Since Dynabook is focused only on B2B, having taken on the legacy of the Toshiba brand, the commercial director admits that the average price is above the market price, which has increased by about 3% in recent months. The best-selling line is the Tecra line, and generally consumers are looking for equipment that guarantees a minimum service life of 3 to 5 years.

At HP, too, the average price has increased, after the increase in production costs “but primarily because the importance of the personal computer as a personal tool for fun, work and socializing has strengthened in the last few years. As a consequence, The demand for PC features has increased and there has been a significant shift in demand towards the middle and upper class,” says Pedro Coelho.

Values ​​are also now “highly dependent on external circumstances, over which producers have no direct influence”, including the development of the war in Ukraine, with a consequent impact on the macroeconomic scenario, and especially on the valuation of the euro exchange rate.

The HP official also recognizes changing behavior and higher customer demand. “The last 2 years, especially the shutdown period, have shown us that not all computers are the same. We understand the importance of having a personal computer with an integrated camera of good resolution that allows us to have a good remote presence in front of friends, colleagues or even clients.“, he says.

“We’re less tolerant of computers that freeze when listening to music while retouching a photo, and we demand sound quality when we’re watching a series on streaming or when we need a computer to cancel out the noise around us while we’re focused on a meeting. with our project team,” adds Pedro Coelho, saying that this kind of behavior happens on a personal and business level.

THE the issue of security is more valued in the business market, as João Moura emphasized. Adaptation to work, valuing lighter and easily portable formats are the characteristics that come together in this vision of the company. “We also see that more and more those responsible for the company look at the investment as a complete workstation (hardware and cloud management) and not just physical characteristics in relation to the price”, justifies the person responsible for the Surface business segment at Microsoft Portugal. .

Great expectations by the end of the year?

After a more valorized market, a downward trend in prices towards the end of the year is mentioned by Francisco Jerónimo of IDC EMEA, who predicts manufacturers’ campaigns to release stocks.

Yin Lingyun is already identifying price cuts that accompany back-to-school campaigns, one of the most important times of the year for computer sales. “We have some campaigns to mark this date, ranging from price reductions (such as the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 i3, which currently costs 479 euros with a Bluetooth mouse and backpack offer) to product offers (which in the case of the brand new Huawei MateBook 16s is a HUAWEI Display 23.8 monitor)”, he justifies himself. The values ​​are below the usual average selling price of Huawei, which ranged between 500 and 600 euros.

on business market expectations are more positiveand businesses continue to invest in job recovery, which can be helped by funding projects under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP).

João Moura admits that the prospect is to continue with double-digit growth in line with Microsoft in Portugal. “We continue to see an upward trend at the start of our fiscal year although we are in a naturally calmer phase of the year due to the summer holidays. The return to work will again bring the need to strengthen the installed base, since companies still have a lot of transformation to do with regard to the way they work and the resources offered to employees so that they can perform their duties in a better way,” he says.

Likewise, Carlos Cunha has a positive vision for Dynabook Portugal.

“To be honest, the expectations are positive and depend on the acceleration of the implementation of the PRR program as well as the achievement of the digital transformation program in perspective”, says Carlos Cunha.

The trend has yet to be confirmed, not only becauseThe news for the economy is not encouraging and predicts a further reduction in spendingdespite the recognized need of personal consumers and companies for the renovation of equipment parks and the increasing demand for design and quality of materials.

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