UK PC market has best growth in Europe

PC shipments in the UK hit 2.8 million units in the second quarter of this year, as the country saw a consumer buying spree driven by strong mobile PC sales, according to Gartner

The UK PC market showed the biggest growth in Western Europe in the second quarter, according to analysts at Gartner, with shipments totalling 2.8 million units.

Sales increased by 27.4 percent in the 2008 second quarter, compared with the same period in 2007, Gartner said in a report released on Thursday.

"The PC market in the UK performed strongly this quarter with both the consumer and professional markets fuelling growth," Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "This strong performance can only be sustained if new users are being reached or existing users are buying additional PCs or replacing their old ones more rapidly," he said.

The market was driven by strong mobile PC sales, which accounted for 64 percent of the total PC shipments and which saw volumes rise by 60 percent, Gartner analysts said. The growth in mobile computing came at the cost of slower desktop sales, as those PCs suffered an eight percent decline year-on-year, they said.

As for the vendors, Dell and HP remained in first and second place in the UK with a combined market share of nearly 45 percent. But Gartner highlighted HP's performance, noting that the company "excelled by increasing its growth by nearly 100 per cent in the consumer market". The analyst firm attributed this rise to HP's sales push for its PCs among its retail partners.

Third-place Acer's growth suffered "due to a combination of weakened demand for the Packard Bell products and challenges with product transition as sales from inventory slowed down", Gartner said.

Apple and Asus, in fifth and sixth positions respectively, added a new dimension to the consumer market, Gartner said. Asus is the maker of the popular Eee mini laptop.

"The PC market in the UK again performed above expectations as the consumer market continued to boom. The introduction of the mini-notebook PC has created some excitement, and we expect sales in this segment will help the market sustain growth for the rest of the year," Atwal said.

UK PC vendor unit shipment estimates for 2Q08

UK PC vendor unit shipment estimates for second quarter, 2008 (thousands of units)

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs