Gartner: Apple gains as PC sales fall in Europe

PC sales across Western Europe have dropped significantly in Q2 2011. Apple is the only PC manufacturer to show growth.

Market researcher Gartner said that Western European sales of PCs declined by nearly one fifth this quarter, while Apple was the only top five vendor to show positive growth.

Acer alone dropped nearly 45 percent, with Asus, Dell and HP struggling to make sales. Apple, however, grew by less than a single percentage point -- still outweighing the other major players in the PC market.

As sister site CNET report, only Apple and Samsung were the only PC manufacturers in the United Kingdom to show growth, albeit in the single figures, out of the top five vendors.

Having said that, dissecting the numbers, the figures appear relatively consistent across most of Europe.

Given the momentum away from traditional PCs towards high-end tablets, such as the iPad, many PCs are shied away from in a tablet-hungry continent.

Gartner did not offer an explanation as to why Apple's growth outshone traditional PC manufacturers.

Apple's growth can be partly attributed to analysis undertaken earlier this month, citing reasons that the iPad is in a 'league of its own' in terms of its groundbreaking ability to remain a design efficient tablet.

As ZDNet's James Kendrick reported earlier this week, iPad competitors "simply cannot reproduce" Apple's  approach to iPad marketing.

The figures show that just shy of 879,000 Macs shipped in the last quarter in Western Europe, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Gartner said that netbooks were widely hit by the dip in PC sales. Acer saw the sharpest decline, as a major manufacturer of netbooks, dropping from 3.69 million sales a year ago to 2.05 million this quarter.

PC manufacturers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can either carry on producing cheap and stable machines for enterprises -- and roll them out en masse -- or try and compete with the marketing machinery that only Apple seems to have a grip on.

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