More gloom for PC makers as European sales slump by 20 percent

As my colleague Wayne Williams reported earlier today the PC market is continuing to shrink at the hands of tablets. Further confirmation of this, just in case you needed any, comes from a Gartner survey showing that the PC market in western Europe slumped by 20 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

All PC segments in Western Europe declined over the quarter. Mobile and desktop shipments dropped 23.9 percent and 12.2 percent respectively. PC shipments in the professional market declined by 13.5 percent, while the consumer PC market decreased 25.8 percent in the same period. This equates to a 19.8 percent drop overall

"The market exit of the netbook PC, and vendors reducing their inventory to get the new Intel chips and Windows 8.1 have fuelled the decline in Western Europe," says Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner.

HP remains the number one PC seller followed by Acer and Lenovo. Acer suffered the biggest drop of 44.7 percent thanks to a restructuring of its product range away from netbooks towards tablets. Lenovo was the only maker to post positive figures with its sales up 18.9 percent over the quarter.

Things may look up later in the year according to Ms Escherich, "We can expect some attractive new PCs in the stores for the fourth quarter of 2013, running Windows 8.1 with thinner form factors and longer battery life enabled by Intel's Haswell processors. These PCs will compete with high-end tablets and will be complemented by a new generation of Atom-based devices that will compete with low-end basic tablets. Although this will not fully compensate for the ongoing PC decline, it does create an opportunity for profit in the midrange and more high end PC segments".

Looked at on a country-by-country basis, the UK PC market showed a 13 percent drop in line with a long term trend. Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner says, "The second quarter marked the 11th consecutive quarter of decline in the U.K. During this time the notebook market has shrunk nearly 25 percent in unit volume. The U.K. notebook market totaled over 2 million units in the second quarter of 2010 and has now reached just under 1.5 million units".

The German PC market fell by 18.7 percent but France showed a drop of 19.1 percent over the same period. This is the fourth consecutive quarter that the French market has experienced strong decline and it has shown the weakest performance of the three major western European nations.

Image Cedit:  Alexander Mak/Shutterstock

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