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Gartner Says PC Market in Western Europe Declined 2.4 Percent in Second Quarter of 2012

U.K. and Germany PC Markets Declined while France PC Market Returned to Weak Growth in Second Quarter of 2012

           PC shipments in Western Europe totaled 13.6 million units in the second quarter of 2012, a 2.4 percent decline compared with the equivalent period in 2011, according to Gartner, Inc.

 “Although we saw a slight uptake in mobile PC sales, the Western Europe PC market recorded weak overall PC shipments across all countries,” said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.

In Western Europe, mobile PC shipments grew 4 percent, while desk-based PC shipments declined 12.8 percent in the second quarter of 2012. The professional PC market declined 5.3 percent, while the consumer PC market was almost flat, with 0.4 percent growth. 

Despite losing market share, HP retained the No. 1 position in the Western Europe PC market in the second quarter of 2012 (see Table 1). Acer put in a strong performance, having resolved its inventory issues. Acer increased its market share by 2.7 percentage points, which helped it retain the No. 2 spot. Asus had the best performance among the top five vendors and moved up to No. 3. 

“Asus excelled at diversifying its product portfolio, which includes mobile PCs and desk-based PCs, and it is now expanding into Ultrabooks and tablets, all of which are marketed at attractive prices,” said Ms Escherich. Dell struggled to increase its PC shipments and dropped to No. 4. Its transformation from a PC supplier to a solution provider for professional markets is ongoing and has yet to result in an increase in market share. 

“Consumer spending on PCs has been stalled by the ongoing economic uncertainty. If demand, especially from consumers, remains weak there might be some old stock left in the channels ahead of the Windows 8 launch in October. This could lead to significant price cuts in September, and challenges may arise in selling new products into the channel in the third quarter of 2012,” said Ms. Escherich. 

Table 1
Western Europe: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q12 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor

2Q12 Shipments

2Q12 Market Share (%)

2Q11 Shipments

2Q11 Market Share (%)

2Q11-2Q12 Growth (%)

HP

2,760

20.2

3,171

22.7

-13.0

Acer

2,361

17.3

2,047

14.6

15.3

Asus

1,458

10.7

1,021

7.3

42.8

Dell

1,185

8.7

1,371

9.8

-13.6

Lenovo

1,057

7.8

961

6.9

10.0

Others

4,822

35.3

5,413

38.7

-10.9

Total

13,643

100.0

13,984

100.0

-2.4

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (August 2012)

U.K.: PC Shipments Declined in Both the Consumer and Professional Sectors

In the second quarter of 2012 the U.K. PC shipments totaled 2.5 million units, a decline of 7.6 percent compared with the equivalent period in 2011 (see Table 2).

“The U.K. PC market remained very weak in the second quarter of 2012. It was depressed across the board, with both the consumer and professional sectors exhibiting decline,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

With the U.K. PC market shrinking again, PC vendors were under pressure to protect their margins. As a result, the top three had to hold back on price promotions. Collectively, the top three lost more than four percentage points of market share, with all three showing double-digit-percentage declines in shipments. 

In the second quarter of 2012, Dell suffered the biggest fall (23.2 percent), with its consumer business recording a decline of nearly 40 percent. HP retained the No. 1 position, but still held less than 20 percent of the U.K. market.  Acer, which declined last year due to inventory issues, continued to lose market share. Toshiba exhibited the highest growth, albeit following a very weak second quarter of 2011.

“The real worry for the U.K. PC market is whether it will ever return to solid growth,” said Mr. Atwal. “Windows 8 and Ultrabooks now look even more important. However, messages emerging from the PC supply chain remain inconsistent and largely uninspiring. This has resulted in the PC channel holding back on new shipment orders until the fourth quarter of 2012.”

Table 2
United Kingdom: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q12 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor

2Q12

Shipments

2Q12 Market Share (%)

2Q11 Shipments

2Q11 Market Share (%)

2Q11-2Q12 Growth (%)

HP

468

18.5

530

19.4

-11.7

Dell

313

12.4

408

14.9

-23.2

Acer

293

11.6

341

12.5

-14.0

Toshiba

238

9.4

157

5.7

51.6

Apple

187

7.4

170

6.2

10.0

Others

1,024

40.6

1,127

41.2

-9.1

Total

2,524

100.0

2,732

100.0

-7.6

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media Tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (August 2012)

France: PC Market Returned to Weak Growth

PC shipments in France totaled 2.5 million units in the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 0.7 percent compared with the same period in 2011 (see Table 3).

“The PC market in France showed some slight improvement in the second quarter of 2012, but this is growth is from a low base, as the second quarter of 2011 saw a decline of 18 percent year-on-year. The economic uncertainty continued to have an impact on PC spending and consumer confidence,” said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner.

The consumer market increased 12 percent, while the professional market declined 12 percent.

The mobile PC market accounted for 66 percent of total PC shipments in France, with volumes increasing 4.5 percent. Desk-based PCs declined 6 percent year-on-year, despite good demand for all-in-one PCs. “The Ultrabook segment has attracted the interest of consumers and continued to grow, but volumes are still low. The ultraportable segment represented 9 percent of all mobile PCs shipped in France in the second quarter 2012.”

Acer and Asus showed the strongest year-on-year growth in France. HP maintained the No. 1 position in France, but the gap with Acer is narrowed. Asus grew its market share by 3 percentage points and expanded its presence in the desk-based PC market. Acer increased its PC shipments and did particularly well in the mobile PC market. Lenovo made its debut in the ranking of top five vendors in France as a result of growth in the consumer and small and midsize business markets.

“We expect that the PC market in France will remain under pressure in the third quarter of 2013,” said Ms. Durand. “Although vendors are offering attractive back-to-school promotions, inventory levels in the channel could create some issues. Consumers may delay PC purchases until the introduction of Windows 8 devices.”

Table 3
France: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q12 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor

2Q12 Shipments

2Q12 Market Share (%)

2Q11 Shipments

2Q11 Market Share (%)

2Q11-2Q12 Growth (%)

HP

593

23.8

671

27.2

-11.6

Acer

590

23.7

456

18.5

29.4

Asus

330

13.3

255

10.3

29.4

Dell

223

9.0

244

9.9

-8.6

Lenovo

153

6.1

125

5.1

22.4

Others

599

24.1

721

29.2

-16.9

Total

2,488

100.0

2,471

100.0

0.7

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (August 2012)

Germany: PC Market Suffered Double-Digit Decline in Desk-Based PC Shipments

PC shipments in Germany totaled 2.6 million units in the second quarter of 2012, a decrease of 6.5 percent compared with the equivalent period in 2011 (see Table 4).

Mobile PC shipments stabilized and recorded 3.9 percent growth, but desk-based PC volumes decreased 20.2 percent. Consumer and professional market demand declined 8.2 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

“The second quarter of 2012 proved to be an interim quarter when everyone was waiting for two major events: more Ultrabook product releases and the release of Windows 8. PC suppliers and channels are controlling inventory levels carefully and are preparing for both releases — which can have a significant dampening effect on volumes,” said Ms. Escherich.

Acer climbed into the No. 1 position in Germany, and it achieved a 29 percent increase in the professional PC market. “Acer is delivering on its promise to shift its profits further into the business-to-business sector,” said Ms. Escherich.

Lenovo remained in the No. 2 spot as a result of strong sales in the retail sector. It also became the No. 1 vendor in the home segment, with a 16 percent market share. “HP dropped to No. 3 spot and did not perform well across all segments. The disappointing results were party caused by HP combining its PC and printer groups into one organization,” said Ms. Escherich. In addition, HP's relatively strong sell-in shipments during the first quarter of 2012 did not sell through well in the second quarter, and this also slowed shipments into the channel.

“Today a lot of industry hope lies with the release of the new ultra-thin and light form factor for mobile PCs, which could bridge the gap between notebooks and tablets. A big portion of R&D spending has been allocated to Ultrabook development, together with Intel's massive investments to establish the market,” said Ms. Escherich. “We expect that the prices of Ultrabooks will decrease in the second half of 2012, from the current $800 to $1,000 range to $700 or less, which could create some additional demand.”

Table 4
Germany: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q12 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor

2Q12 Shipments

2Q12 Market Share (%)

2Q11 Shipments

2Q11 Market Share (%)

2Q11-2Q12 Growth (%)

Acer

371

14.5

293

10.7

26.6

Lenovo

356

13.9

391

14.2

-8.8

HP

334

13.0

444

16.2

-24.8

Asus

201

7.8

203

7.4

-1.0

Dell

188

7.4

224

8.2

-16.1

Others

1,117

43.5

1,191

43.3

-6.2

Total

2,567

100.0

2,746

100.0

-6.5

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (August 2012)

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