UK PC shipments jump

A total of 15.2 million units of PC shipments were made in Western Europe in the first quarter of 2008, with 3.1 million units in the UK for the same period, according to analyst house Gartner.

The information technology research and advisory company found that shipments had increased by 14.1 per cent in Europe and 11.2 per cent in the UK compared with the same period in 2007.

Principal analyst at Gartner Ranjit Atwal attributed the rise in European shipments to the shift in exchange rates between the US dollar and the Euro.

"The decline in pricing helped outweigh any negative influences driven by economic concerns in the first quarter of 2008," Atwal said.

"Whilst the PC market is not immune to an economic downturn continued strong mobile penetration helps to sustain robust growth," said Atwal.

Meanwhile, the growth of UK shipments has been credited to strong mobile PC sales, which accounted for over 60 per cent of total PC shipments and nearly 70 per cent of consumer PCs.

Although, mobile PCs saw volumes increase by nearly 40 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2007, the desktop market declined in both consumer and professional markets by more than 15 per cent year-on-year, according to Gartner.

Gartner also found that Dell and Hewlett-Packard continue to dominate the UK market with a combined share of more than 45 per cent. Following Dell entering retail channels in Dixons and Tesco, the technology company has seen a 200 per cent increase in consumer mobile PC shipments. In comparison, Hewlett-Packard has driven consumer and professional mobile PC shipments growth, achieving nearly 70 per cent overall growth.

The UK's strong growth has come as some surprise to many analysts, according to Atwal.

"The United Kingdom PC market performed above expectations in the first quarter of 2008. The impact of an economic slowdown and the credit crunch has not affected the PC market yet... However, there is no doubt that falling sales prices made PCs more attractive than ever," said Atwal.