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European PC shipments fall 11 percent during third-quarter

European PC sales are looking grim, with netbooks suffering the most and dragging notebook sales down with it, as consumers turn to iPads and other tablets.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

Research firm Gartner said PC shipments in Western Europe, including the UK, France, Germany, Europe's largest economies, dropped by over 11 percent in the third-quarter.

Fewer than 15 million units were shipped by the leading manufacturers, including Asus, Dell, and HP, but fell short compared to the same quarter of last year.

The notebook and laptop market was hit the hardest, with a 12.6 percent decline, driven by a 40 percent decrease in netbook shipments in the third-quarter.

Growing competition in the tablet and slate market suggests a drop in PC sales in the region. Back-to-school sales were hampered by the poor sales during the third-quarter.

But Asus' success with laptop has pushed its way past global technology giant Dell in European PC shipments, the figures show. Asus' shipments grew by 20 percent, raising the company's standing to third place behind HP and Acer.

Apple claimed fourth place grew by 22 percent after shipping 230,000 units, while Samsung grew by 39 percent, claiming fifth place, after shipping 217,000 machines.

But with the news that HP would hold onto its PC division, after it was to be spun-off or sold under the previous chief executive, its PC shipments slipped by 7.5 percent. Nevertheless, the global PC giant remains the sector leader with a market share just shy of 23 percent.

Interestingly, the consumer market fell by nearly 19 percent, while business PCs were only down by just over 2 percent, showing a reluctance to spend during pessimistic economic times.

While netbooks are on the way out after a short lived tenure over the last two or three years, notebook figures also suffered as a result. Though, while PC sales continue to dip, Apple remains strong with a competitive edge over other manufacturers, and sees no sign of waining.

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