PC sales start to grow – but not in Europe


Global PC shipments have shown slight growth this quarter, but Europe is still struggling.

Analyst firm Gartner said that worldwide PC shipments saw a 0.5 per cent increase to 80.9 million computers in the third quarter, much better than the analyst firm's predicted 5.6 per cent fall.

"These are good results especially given that PC shipments for the third quarter of 2009 are being compared to a very strong third quarter from 2008," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement.

Europe struggling

While the US jumped 3.9 per cent and Asia climbed 16.1 per cent, Europe slid 10.1 per cent.

"The EMEA PC market in the third quarter of 2009 continued to be weak across all EMEA countries," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst for Gartner's client computing markets group in EMEA. "We predict that the EMEA PC market will see a 10 per cent decline for 2009," he added.

Netbooks continued to drive sales, while the business market was the weakest and it doesn't look set to pick up anytime soon. "PCs were the first sector impacted by cost containment strategies at the beginning of the year and are likely to be the last IT segment to see a return to spending," added Atwal.

In Europe, Acer took over the number one market spot from HP, while the weak business market dragged Dell down 17.6 per cent to third place. "With no imminent return to growth in the professional market, Dell can expect to continue to lose share," said Atwal.

Windows 7 launch

Contrary to the hopes of many, the retail release of Windows 7 doesn't look likely to boost PC shipments very much.

"Recent OS releases have not been a growth driver in the PC market, however the timing of Windows 7 is favourable for the industry due to expected economic improvements and an overdue hardware replacement cycle," Kitagawa said.

"We anticipate renewed interest in hardware upgrades from consumers and small business during the holiday season as a result of Windows 7's release," she added.

"In the corporate market, Windows 7's adoption is not expected to ramp up until late 2010."

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