Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Q2 PC Purchases Jump Up 40%

While Western European consumers are more tightly holding onto their money and buying fewer personal computers, Russians have gone on a comparable spending spree, according to a new report.

In a survey by research company Gartner Dataquest of PC buying in some two dozen countries, Russia registered the highest growth rate, 38.3 percent, in the second quarter, compared with the same period in 2001. It was the fifth largest market, with sales of $465 million.

Meanwhile, Gartner found that PC shipment sales in Western Europe dipped 4 percent in the same time period, the first decrease recorded for the region.

However, a similar report on Russia by IDC, an IT research agency, contests Gartner's numbers, suggesting that the growth in Russia for the same period was much smaller, only 5.7 percent, for a market value of $315 million.

"In our opinion this 40 percent growth is way, way too aggressive," said Robert Farish, IDC regional manager for Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia.

Thomas Reumer, an analyst at Gartner Dataquest, said the significant growth his firm recorded was based on the fact that Russia was starting from a very low point of consumer spending, with the economy only recently making a positive turnaround following the 1998 economic crisis. Gartner said home computer sales in the second quarter rose almost 60 percent but still only accounted for less than 8 percent of all purchases.

Personal Computer Sales for 2001

Selected MarketComputers SoldGrowth From 2000 Q2
Czech Republic67,09011.7%

Russian Personal Computer Market in 2001

Top 10 CompaniesSales in 2001Growth From 2000 Q2
Aquarius Data25,54562.6%
Beliy Veter18,78642.8%
Compaq Computer11,27562.5%
Source: Gartner Dataquest (August 2001)

Increased government spending on computers also contributed to the growth, with more tenders held for government projects this year, notably the budget-funded computerization of rural schools.

Farish said his firm's lower estimate is based on the strength of the second quarter 2000, especially compared to 1999. He also suggested that Gartner did not take into account the picture of the entire market. While the largest local companies saw sales increase, it was at the expense of several smaller Russian PC firms that saw their numbers decline.

Thirdly, Farish said, the lower figures take into account the ongoing customs problem, which IDC said was undoubtedly an issue in the second quarter this year. When customs officials clamp down on imports of computer components, it hurts PC venders.

IDC did show a huge jump in notebook sales, almost 40 percent, while desktop computer sales rose only 3.7 percent. It attributes the jump partly to the belated introduction of affordable laptops to Russia.

The argument still stands, however, that Russia is now seen by some venders as a more buoyant market than Western Europe. Concerns in the West about an economic downturn have cut back purchases of home computers, and corporate spending on PCs has slowed down.

Russia also differs from its Western neighbors in the makeup of its top-10 computer sellers. Here, local venders lead the market, whereas Gartner lists overall leaders for Europe, the Middle East and Africa as Compaq, Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Parish said the leading Russian venders offer lower prices — which consumers tend to go for over brand name — since components are cheaper to import than assembled computers.

Gartner recorded an 11.9 percent decrease was recorded for Germany and 7.3 percent for the United Kingdom, while France, the third-largest market, grew by 7.8 percent. Gartner said the sag in home computer sales glossed over a slight rise for the professional sector, which accounts for around three-quarters of the PC market.