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Europeans not taking the tablets

Clear as mud

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Tablet PCs are not selling in large quantities to Europeans, except in some vertical sectors. So far so unsurprising. However, sales are not continuing to ramp up, which maybe is a little surprising, for the form factor that many forecast will one day become the PC of choice for home users.

Tablet sales in Western Europe peaked in April 2003, after the initial ramp from launch in late 2002, according to Context, the London research business which number crunches sales figures compiled from European resellers.

Tablet shipments then fell in May and June but - unusually, says Context - sales rose again in July, up 16.7 per cent. Perhaps inventory clearance or price cuts have something to do with little jump - average selling prices fell 16.7 per cent in July. Prices will have to fall further if sales momentum is to pick up: the Tablet PC is an attractive beast but too expensive to make it into the corporate mainstream just yet.

HP is the early market leader in tablet sales, but it's finding the going tough too; July sales in Western Europe were down 33.3 per cent in July, compared with the April high, Context says. ®

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