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Europe PC sales sagged in 2008

Only floating on a raft of netbooks

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PC sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew just 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008 as the economic crisis began to bite.

Stefania Lorenz, director at IDC, said: "The worldwide financial and credit crisis has hit the largest markets in Central and Eastern Europe [CEE], causing the PC market to contract, by 23.8 per cent, for the first time ever... Middle East and Africa [MEA] remained just afloat, reporting 0.1 per cent growth year on year thanks to the notebook market."

Western Europe did better - growing 11.9 per cent thanks to demand for portables and netbooks which pushed consumer growth to 56 per cent. Desktop sales fell thanks to slower business renewals and losing share to portable machines.

In the fourth quarter HP grew sales by 13 per cent - giving it 21.6 per cent of the market, Acer was up 21.9 per cent to 16.6 per cent of the total market. Dell grew only 0.4 per cent to 9.4 per cent, while Asus leapt 68.7 per cent. Toshiba was up 26.7 per cent.

The analysts expect 2009 to be a tough year, although it sees some hope for vendors from telcos which continue to offer subsidised netbooks. ®

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