European PC market hits four-year low

Summary:The European PC market experienced its slowest fourth quarter in four years, according to provisional figures released this week, giving weight to fears that the market is becoming saturated. Fourth-quarter shipments rose only 6.

The European PC market experienced its slowest fourth quarter in four years, according to provisional figures released this week, giving weight to fears that the market is becoming saturated.

Fourth-quarter shipments rose only 6.9 percent on the previous year, according to British research firm Context. That compares with 11.7 percent year-on-year growth in 1999 and 20 percent growth in 1997 and 1998.

While there is little evidence of a U.S.-style economic slowdown in Europe, the PC market here may be reaching a saturation point more quickly than the U.S. market. Just one third of UK households own a PC, compared to half in the U.S., but non-PC devices such as interactive television and mobile phones may already be filling consumers' computing needs, according to Context. Full story. --Matthew Broersma, ZDNet UK

Topics: PCs, Hardware

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