UK PC shipments plunged by 17.5 per cent in the first quarter, with Dell and Toshiba both suffering declines of nearly a third.
According to market watcher Gartner, 2.73 million PCs were shipped in the UK in the first three months of 2011, compared with 3.31 million a year earlier.
It was a similar picture for western Europe as a whole as shipments across the region nose-dived 17.8 per cent to 14.7 million. Consumer shipments fell 25 per cent as the mass migration to media tablets continued, while professional shipments fell eight per cent.
Apple was the only top vendor to come out of the quarter in credit after bursting into the top-five rankings in both the UK and western Europe for the first time.
In the UK, Apple grew shipments by 15.9 per cent to 185,000, allowing it to overtake Samsung to secure a berth in the top five.
UK market leader HP saw shipments decline a relatively modest 10.6 per cent to 634,000. Dell lost the silver-medal position to Acer following a 30.8 per cent decline in shipments, while fourth-placed Toshiba saw shipments fall 30 per cent to 204,000.
How the vendors fared
HP: Maintained top spot in western Europe despite 25 per cent decline in mobile PCs, and remains the UK's largest player by far.
Acer Group: Q1 performance significantly below the market average as the Taiwanese player struggled with high inventory levels from the previous quarter. But it moved into second place in the UK following a weak quarter from Dell.
Dell: Shipment decline of 22 per cent in western Europe put it behind the market average as Dell recorded slow demand across all segments. Slipped into third place in the UK following 30.8 per cent decline.
Apple: Made its debut in top-five vendors in both western Europe and the UK, replacing Toshiba and Samsung respectively. The only top-five vendor to enjoy shipment growth, with mobile PC sales growing by 32 per cent.
Telco also announced series of initiatives to drive digital growth in the UK
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