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Gartner Says PC Shipments in Western Europe Grew 17.7 Percent in the Third Quarter of 2007

(PresseBox) (Egham, UK, ) PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 13.8 million units in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 17.7 per cent compared with the same period in 2006. The Western European market grew faster than expected as the consumer market saw another strong quarter driven by multiple "back to school" marketing initiatives and aggressive price promotions across all countries.

The UK Market Showed One of the Weakest Performances

PC shipments in the UK totalled 2.9 million units in the second quarter of 2007, an increase of 13.6 per cent compared with the same period in 2006. In Western Europe, the UK showed one of the weakest performances as excess retail inventory from over forecasted Vista shipments hindered new shipments growth. In addition, PC sales in the retail market have slowed down showing the first signs of the impact of the economic uncertainty.

Hewlett Packard (HP) has become the No.1 vendor in the UK for the first time in four years. Its strong performance in the consumer market, combined with Dell’s very weak performance in consumer market, allowed HP to gain the leading position. "HP and Dell control more than 45 per cent of the UK market, and with mobile growth remaining strong, HP could extend its market share in the fourth quarter of 2007," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner, based in the UK.

Overall, growth in the consumer market was lower than expected and was marginally overtaken by growth in the business segment. Demand for mobile PCs remained the major driver of PC sales as desktop PCs continued to show weak performance. "Vendors are more than ever investing in meeting users’ key requirements around mobility. As a result, this has led to mobile PCs constituting more than 50 per cent of PCs in both the consumer and business markets for the first time ever," Mr Atwal added.

France: Mobile PC Shipments reached 50 Per Cent of Total PC Shipments

PC shipments in France totalled 2.4 million units in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 18.4 per cent compared with the same period in 2006. The growth was driven by a strong increase in mobile PC shipments which accounted for 50 per cent of total PC shipments. Demand for mobile PCs in the consumer segment represented 57 per cent.

This quarter, demand for PCs in the consumer market exceeded that of the professional segment and represented 51 per cent of total PC shipments. The consumer market grew 24 per cent and primarily benefited from a successful "back to school" season from HP, Acer, Toshiba, Apple and ASUS. In addition, the fourth edition of the micro portable pour etudiant (MIPE) programme and attractive mobile PC promotions with an ADSL subscription boosted PC penetration in the French market.

"Hewlett Packard maintained its leadership and widened the gap with Acer. However, it will be interesting to see what impact the purchase of Packard Bell by Acer will have in the market," said Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner, based in France.

Acer remained second despite losing its number one position to HP in the mobile PC market. Packard Bell’s strategy to pursue more premium brand positioning and focus on profitability resulted in the weakest performance among the top five vendors.

Toshiba had a good quarter exhibiting 26.5 per cent year-on-year growth. Toshiba started to ship AMD notebooks this quarter which helped the company offer competitively priced mobile PCs in the consumer segment.

PC Shipments in Germany Grew Higher than France and the UK

PC shipments in Germany totalled 2.7 million units in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 23 per cent compared to the same period in 2006. The consumer market saw an increase of 26 per cent while the business segment grew 21 per cent. The PC market in Germany showed higher growth than France and the UK, and one in every five PCs in Western Europe were sold in Germany.

The market was driven by mobile PCs, which accounted for 58 per cent of overall PC shipments, with volumes increasing 40 per cent over the third quarter of 2006. The desktop PCs market grew only 5 per cent year-on-year.

Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens maintained its leading position despite underperforming, especially in the retail segment. Hewlett-Packard and Acer took advantage of Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens’ failure to grab consumers’ interest with their mobile PC line. As a result, both vendors posted growth of 86 and 63 per cent respectively in the mobile segment. Dell struggled to keep up in the consumer market and showed a 19 per cent decrease in this segment.

"Overall, demand for mobile PCs remained the major driver of PC sales, thanks to falling average selling prices and enhanced performance. Mobile PCs are now viewed as ‘a need to have’ instead of a luxury device and A-brand vendors are using economy of scale to drive prices even further down," said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner, based in the UK.

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