Gartner has issued a warning to PC vendors, claiming it is "make or break" time for the industry as Q2 shipment levels across western Europe slumped by 19.8 per cent annually.
The market exit of the netbook PC and vendors reducing their inventory in order to wait for the new Intel chips and Windows 8.1 machines fuelled the slump – which saw just 10.9 million devices shipped over the period – the analyst claimed.
Across the region, three of the top five PC vendors – HP, Acer and Asus – suffered double-digit annual declines in Q2, with the vendors' shipments shrinking 17.4 per cent, 44.7 per cent and 41.7 per cent respectively. Dell's shipment level shrank just 1.1 per cent over the quarter, and Lenovo was the only vendor to grow year on year, upping its shipment level 18.9 per cent.
Across western Europe, all PC segments declined, with mobile and desktop PC shipments shrinking year on year by 23.8 per cent and 12.2 per cent respectively, and shipments in the professional market taking a 13.5 per cent dive compared to last year.
Make or break
Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said the PC market is pinning its hopes on Windows 8.1 to boost the market.
"After several depressing years, the PC vendors are now at a make-or-break point in this industry," he warned. "The product transition involving both hardware and the upgrade of Windows 8.1 needs to reverse the steep declines we have seen in the PC market."
The UK fared better than Europe's other main markets, with shipments dipping just 13 per cent annually in Q2 compared to 19.1 per cent and 18.7 per cent in France and Germany, respectively.
The top-three UK PC vendors were boosted by the performance in the professional PC market, Gartner claimed, with HP, Dell and Lenovo faring better in the country than they did across western Europe.
First-place vendor HP's shipments fell just 6.9 per cent annually, compared with 17.4 per cent across the wider region. Lenovo grew shipments 28.6 per cent in the UK.
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