PC sales flat as netbooks decline

22 Oct 2010
Asus Eee Pc

Consumers waiting for tablet computers and turning away from netbooks

The anticipated arrival of tablets has sparked a decline in netbook sales that has hit PC figures across Western Europe.

PC shipments were flat with only 0.5% growth in the third quarter compared to the same time last year, according to analyst firm IDC.

IDC said the Western European weakness was due to lower demand for netbooks, which have helped prop up the PC market during the past few years of economic difficulties. Last quarter, sinking demand lead to a 25% fall in shipments of the cheap and cheerful mini laptops.

PC rankings

Acer - 21.6%

HP - 19.2%

Dell - 9.2%

Asus - 8.5%

Lenovo - 5.9%

Others - 35.6%

"Mini notebooks had started to slow down in the first half of 2010, but increasing noise and announcements around media tablets have contributed to accelerating the trend," said Eszter Morvay, research manager at IDC.

"Some users have already purchased an iPad, and many others adopted a wait and see position as more products develop towards Christmas," she added.

Across EMEA, shipments were up 10.5% from last year, to 27.8 million computers, largely helped by demand in Eastern Europe driving shipments up 43%.

Acer won back the top spot from HP last quarter, with growth of 3.4% from the same quarter last year bumping its share to 21.6%. Dell held third spot, mostly thanks to its strength in the business market, IDC said.

Asus managed to post 26.8% growth, as its netbook sales held up better than its rivals did.

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