updated 01:05 am EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
Economy, imminent Windows 8 release, tablet market cited
Mirroring global trends, PC market analyst firm Gartner reports that PC shipments in western Europe declined 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2012 over the same period in 2011. Mobile PC shipments grew four percent, while desktop workstation shipments declined 12.8 percent. The professional PC market declined 5.3 percent, with 0.4 percent growth in the consumer PC market.
HP retained the number one position in the western European market in the second quarter of 2012, with Acer increasing its marketshare by 2.7 percentage points. Asus moved up to the third spot with 10.7 percent of the marketshare, up from 7.3 in the 2nd quarter of 2011.
"Consumer spending on PCs has been stalled by the ongoing economic uncertainty. If demand, especially from consumers, remains weak there might be some old stock left in the channels ahead of the Windows 8 launch in October. This could lead to significant price cuts in September, and challenges may arise in selling new products into the channel in the third quarter of 2012," said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.
The United Kingdom saw 2.5 million PCs shipped, a decline of 7.6 percent from the 2nd quarter of 2011. HP, Dell, and Acer took the first three spots, but all lost marketshare to Apple, climbing to 7.4 percent of the market from 6.2 percent.
"The real worry for the UK PC market is whether it will ever return to solid growth," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Windows 8 and Ultrabooks now look even more important. However, messages emerging from the PC supply chain remain inconsistent and largely uninspiring. This has resulted in the PC channel holding back on new shipment orders until the fourth quarter of 2012."
PC shipments in France were similar in volume of those in the UK, also at approximately 2.5 million units, but this number represents an increase of 0.7 percent from 2011. HP, Acer, and Dell held the top three positions in marketshare. German PC shipments slightly edged the French with 2.6 million units, albeit with a 6.5 percent drop year over year. Acer held the top German spot with 14.5 percent of the marketshare, leaving Lenovo and HP to the second and third spots. [via Gartner]