UK leads European PC sales

The UK is leading a strong Western European market for PC shipments, according to research firm Gartner.

Western European PC shipments grew by a staggering 23 per cent in the second quarter of 2008 despite the weakening economic climate. Gartner said that a total of 13.8 million units were shipped, seeing an increase of 22.0 per cent compared with figures from the same period in 2007.

The UK showed the strongest growth in the whole of Western Europe, with PC shipments totalling 2.8 million units in the second quarter of 2008, an increase of 27.4 per cent compared with the same period in 2007.

"The PC market in the UK performed strongly this quarter with both the consumer and professional markets fuelling growth. This strong performance can only be sustained if new users are being reached or existing users are buying additional PCs or replacing their old ones more rapidly," said Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal.

Despite the promising figures, Atwal said that the PC market is not "immune" to market forces.

"While the PC market is not immune from the economic forces, sharp declines in average selling prices have certainly fostered the growth. Steeper-than-expected price cuts could hit PC-makers' profit margins and prolonged price pressure will force further consolidation amongst vendors."

According to Gartner, the market was predominantly driven by strong mobile PC sales, which accounted for 64 per cent of the total PC shipments, with volumes increasing 60 per cent in the second quarter of 2008.

However, the desk-based PC market suffered again with an eight per cent decline year-on-year.

Dell and HP remained in first and second positions with a combined market share of nearly 45 per cent. Dell continued to expand its retail presence.

HP excelled by increasing its growth by nearly 100 per cent in the consumer market. Gartner attributed this result to an expanded presence in its own retail channels.

Acer's growth was found to have suffered due to a combination of weakened demand for Packard Bell products and challenges with product transition as sales from inventory slowed down.

Apple and ASUS, held fifth and sixth positions respectively added a new dimension to the consumer market.