The UK was the worst-performing of the major markets as consumer softness smashed the western European PC space in 2011's third quarter.
Figures from Gartner find that total shipments in the region across the quarter fell 11.4 per cent year on year to 14.8 million. The French market held up comparatively well, with shipment volumes dropping just 2.1 per cent to 2.6 million. Germany, meanwhile, posted a decline of 7.9 per cent, with Q3 PC shipments in the country standing at three million.
But the amount of units shipped in the UK plummeted 11 per cent to 2.9 million. The consumer market posted a decline of 18 per cent, with HP and Acer suffering the most.
HP leads the UK PC market, although the vendor's shipments fell 9.4 per cent annually to 567,000, giving it a market share of 19.2 per cent. Dell, in second, suffered a decline of 6.4 per cent. Its shipment tally of 454,000 gave the Texan firm a 15.4 per cent slice of the market.
Third-placed Acer's miserable year continued. During the past 12 months, its UK unit shipments have been more than cut in half, from 715,000 to 335,000. The Taiwanese outfit's market share has plummeted from a dominant 21.6 per cent to a distant 11.3 per cent.
Apple and Samsung, in fourth and fifth respectively, were the quarter's only success stories. The Mac maker grew its UK shipments by 21.8 per cent to 230,000, while its market share jumped more than two points to 7.8 per cent. Samsung's shipments leapt by almost two fifths year on year to 217,000. The Korean manufacturer now holds a 7.3 per cent chunk of the market, up from 4.7 per cent in Q3 2010.
Gartner research director Ranjot Atwal said: "The market seems to be moving at three speeds. The top two vendors, HP and Dell, continued to struggle to find new opportunities and experienced single-digit declines; Acer, in the process of inventory readjustment, declined more than 50 per cent; Apple and Samsung gained strength in the market. More importantly, quarter on quarter, all vendors saw growth apart from Acer, suggesting the fluctuations in the market may be bottoming out."
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