No Windows 7 boost until 2010
UK PC shipments fell during the third quarter of 2009, despite many in the IT industry claiming the worst of the recession was over. Sales stood at 3.3 million units, a drop of 2.4% over the same period last year, according to figures released by analyst house Gartner.
The figures for the UK did however reveal that the decline has slowed and there was actually a sequential increase of 30%, back in line with seasonal growth patterns, Gartner said.
The report found that two PC vendors at either end of the price spectrum showed the most improvement. Acer saw UK sales increase by 35.3% compared to the same period last year while Apple recorded a 26.6% rise. Acer is now the UK’s largest PC vendor with 24.2% of the market, followed by Dell with 18.3% and HP with 17.5%. Apple now commands 5% of the UK market.
Mini-notebooks continued to prop-up the market. Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner, said: “With consumer spending restricted, mini-notebooks are becoming more appealing as they provide better functionality at the lower price points. Most of the PC vendors now offer mini-notebooks as they realise the importance of this category. Mini-notebooks represented more than 40% of the total consumer notebook market in the third quarter of 2009.”
While mini-notebooks helped growth in the consumer space, the business market continues to suffer. Gartner estimates that it will remain week into the first half of 2010, as the impact of Windows 7 will not be felt until well into next year.
The UK market is also weaker than the other major Western Europe markets – Germany and France, who both recorded growth. “The PC market in the UK was weaker than both Germany and France, and it is not expected to become stronger than those countries in the near future,” said Atwal.