Western European PC shipments fall 11% in third quarter

PC shipments
Image caption The traditional PC market is facing competition from tablet computers

PC shipments in Western Europe fell 11% in the third quarter, according to the technology research firm Gartner.

A total of 14.8m units were shipped by the major manufacturers, which was a fall of 11.4%.

The mobile-PC market was particularly hard hit with a 12.6% decline, driven by more than a 40% decrease in mini-notebook shipments in the third quarter of 2011.

Shipments of desktop computers declined by 8.7%.

The market segment showing the greatest decline was in the consumer segment, which fell 18.8% year-on-year.

Stiff competition

HP remains the sector leader, with a market share of 22.7%.

In the UK, shipments of PCs fell 11%, in the face of growing competition from tablet computers such as the iPad.

"The inventory build-up that slowed growth in the last four quarters was mostly cleared during the third quarter of 2011; however, the PC industry continued to perform below normal seasonality," said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.

"The results in the third quarter of 2011 make unpleasant reading for the PC industry, as the third quarter is traditionally a strong consumer quarter, driven by back-to-school sales.

"The share of mini-notebooks continues to decline, which contributed to the weak year-on-year comparison.

"Moreover, the consumer PC markets in Western Europe remained essentially weak, with consumer confidence permanently shaken by the economic issues spreading across most of the region."

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