UK PC sales up 15%, but growth is weaker than in Western Europe

UK PC sales up 15%, but growth is weaker than in Western Europe

Summary: Gartner says the PC market in Western Europe grew by 19.6% in the second quarter of 2010, with shipments of 15.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Gartner says the PC market in Western Europe grew by 19.6% in the second quarter of 2010, with shipments of 15.6 million units, but the UK market grew by only 15.1% to 2.9 million units.

This was bad news for Dell, which slipped from first to third place in the UK market for desktop and notebook PCs (including netbooks). Gartner said: “Dell was affected on the professional side and was unable to capture retail shelf space, as the PC channel squeezed overall volumes in reaction to a weaker market.”

The numbers must also disappoint Asus, which is the fourth largest PC supplier in Western Europe, but has lost out to Samsung in the UK.

Acer, HP and Dell dominated the UK PC business, taking almost 60% of the market between them. Acer increased its shipments by 36.4% to 648,000 units to achieve a market share of 22.4%. HP’s shipments grew by 37.8% to 594,000 and a market share of 20.5%. Dell’s shipments fell by 22.6% to 462,000 units and a market share of 15.9%.

Toshiba took fourth place (221,000 units, 7.6%) while Samsung came fifth (172,000 units, 5.9%).

Gartner does not provide numbers for companies outside the Top 5 -- such as Asus, Lenovo, Sony and Apple -- unless you pay for its reports. However, it said that in Western Europe, Apple, Sony, Samsung and Lenovo all grew by more than 30% in the second quarter.

As usual, the UK’s PC market was driven by consumer notebook and netbook purchases, with austerity hitting the professional replacement business. Gartner said:

In the second quarter, the mobile PC market grew 17%, with consumer PCs leading the way with more than 30% growth compared to low double-digit professional mobile growth. This trend was repeated for desk-based PCs. All-in-one consumer PC sales grew in double-digits while professional desk-based PCs saw only single digit growth, despite a very weak second quarter of 2009. This indicates the recovery of the professional market is being delayed.

Since a new PC running Microsoft Windows 7 costs less than £1 a day, British companies must either be slow to catch on or badly strapped for cash.

Topic: Tech Industry

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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12 comments
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  • >> Since a new PC running Microsoft Windows 7 costs less than £1 a day....

    Another Microsoft advertising jingle courtesy of Jack Schofield. Do you have a tune to go with it yet, Jack?

    Does your "£1 a day" factor in the costs of installing and configuring the new PC as well? PCs generally have to be imaged to the corporate desktop. That means that they have to first be tested to make sure that they can run the corporate desktop in the first place.

    And if they're having to go through all that hassle, the company will be asking itself "what benefit would we get from such an upgrade, anyway?" and likely not see any at all. Only IT "pundits" that "don't have much of a clue what's happening in the real world" (your words) think that being on the latest thing from Microsoft is an end in itself.
    BrownieBoy-4ea41
  • "Since a new PC running Microsoft Windows 7 costs less than £1 a day..."

    What a ridiculous statistic, given that you haven't even mentioned how many days you're talking about?!

    Maybe these companies' intranets only work with IE6? IE6 doesn't run on Windows 7, of course.
    Zogg
  • I don't think the business are slow to catch on, I think they are slow to drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid. Why should they "upgrade" to Windows 7, when they are absolutely satisfied with what they have? Simply running the latest effluent from Microsoft is not an acceptable business goal in and of itself. Giving large amounts of money to Microsoft for nothing is likewise not an acceptable business goal. Business should be operating for their own benefit and profit, not for Microsoft's.

    jw
    j.a.watson@...
  • What is the relevance of the last line?
    Tezzer-5cae2
  • @Chris Rankin
    > What a ridiculous statistic, given that you haven't even
    > mentioned how many days you're talking about?!

    I assumed most people would figure out something like 50 weeks x 5 days x 4 years = £1,000. How much do you want to spend on business PCs for members of staff who might well cost £100 a day? I could have gone for 50p a day.

    @Tezzer
    > What is the relevance of the last line?

    I was wondering why UK sales of business PCs were growing more slowly than in similar countries, given the very low cost of PCs today. I've seen people spend more on lunch. Got any ideas?
    Jack Schofield
  • "I assumed most people would figure out something like 50 weeks x 5 days x 4 years = £1,000."

    As they say: "assume" makes an "ass" out of "you" and "me". For example, I personally own PCs that are far older than a mere (and arbitrary) 4 years. And all the IT departments in my most recent jobs have had more pressing concerns than simply running Microsoft's Latest Thing.

    Since your calculation reveals that you are only concerned with a PC's purchase price rather than (say) the costs of integrating with any existing infrastructure, might I suggest something based around a Linux kernel instead of Windows 7? Such as Ubuntu? Companies can "purchase" an unlimited number of Ubuntu licenses for £0 flat.
    Zogg
  • "I could have gone for 50p a day"

    This statement shows clearly how completely worthless the original statement was. Just pick a number, any number, out of thin air, and then make up whatever other numbers are necessary to "support" it. Great job, very professional. NOT.

    jw
    j.a.watson@...
  • @Chris Rankin
    Thanks for the comment, which riased a smile in our granny-sucking-eggs department. Good luck costing the "integration" of Ubuntu. I find this is something that Linux fanboys generally overlook.

    @J.A. Watson
    Sorry for feeding the troll but I already quoted Gartner's big numbers. Back in the real world, the very low purchase price of PCs remains a fact. This remains true even if you're too cheap to pay Microsoft its measly few bucks.
    Jack Schofield
  • > Good luck costing the "integration" of Ubuntu.

    Just comparing apples with apples, Jack. And Microsoft isn't a charity - it doesn't in any way deserve a donation of a "measly few bucks" if those bucks don't represent value for money. Especially since those bucks are per PC, and so are likely to add up to something quite substantial. It's incredibly condescending to suggest that those companies are merely being cheap!
    Zogg
  • Oh, Gosh! It's just a "measly few bucks"? I didn't realize that, I'm SO sorry!
    j.a.watson@...
  • @Chris Rankin
    > Just comparing apples with apples, Jack. And Microsoft isn't a charity - it
    > doesn't in any way deserve a donation of a "measly few bucks" if those
    > bucks don't represent value for money.

    You're right about the price of apples but you've overlooked the cost of the rent, staff and all the other overheads. (Including all those failed IT projects that cost $$$ billions.)

    Sure, Microsoft is capitalist, but so is the rest of the world: money makes the world go around. Sure, it's fashionable for open source fanboys to hate Microsoft, but mindless hatred of Microsoft just means the corporate world thinks they're stupid and that their arguments must also be stupid. And, to be frank, I can't say I blame them.

    > It's incredibly condescending to suggest that those companies are merely being cheap!

    I'm always happy to entertain arguments based on principle but price seems to be the standard argument against Microsoft. I'm simply pointing out that, in terms of overall IT costs and value for money, it's a fallacious argument.

    The argument for home users is even sillier. Office 2010 for three users costs £70 which is £23 each for five years, say £5 a year. Windows is effectively free because it's bundled with new PCs. Considering the real value, this is a fantastic bargain.
    Jack Schofield
  • >> Windows is effectively free because it's bundled with new PCs.

    Hmmm... so "Microsoft is a captalist" but "Windows is effectively free"? I'm having trouble reconciling those two statements. (Fill in your ad hominem response here.)

    Does that mean Microsoft gives Windows to OEMs for nothing? I think not (except maybe to stave off linux on netbooks).

    So, Microsoft charges OEMs for Windows then. That must mean that OEMs absorb the cost of Windows and don't pass it on to customers? Can't say that I've ever heard of that happening either.
    BrownieBoy-4ea41