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Acer and Apple prove recession-proof for Brits

PC market shrinkage, nonetheless

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PC sales continue to shrink in the UK - but not for Acer and Apple.

Sales in the UK dropped 2.4 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2009, according to latest data from Gartner. This decline is less than in previous meltdown quarters, but principal analyst Ranjit Atwal warns that: "The return to growth will be slow and a difficult process.”

Not everyone is feeling the pain, however. Sales of what Gartner calls "mini-notebooks" and the rest of the world calls netbooks boosted Acer's sales by 35 per cent in the third quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008. Netbooks accounted for more than 40 per cent of the total consumer notebook market in the same period.

Apple's increase was also strong, jumping from a 3.8 per cent market share in 2008's third quarter to five per cent in 2009's - a 26.6 per cent increase.

As Atwall explains: "Interestingly, two vendors at either end of the price spectrum are winning the battle. At one end, Acer continued to provide price-conscious products through multiple channels to attract a wider buying audience. At the other end, Apple leveraged the 'halo' effect of the Apple brand created by the iPods and iPhones into the PC arena, dominating the mid to higher price brackets."

Acer and Apple's gains were made at the expense of Toshiba, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, which saw their UK PC sales drop by 26.1, 14.6, and 10.4 per cent, respectively. The netbook effect pushed Acer up from third place in 2008 to first place in 2009. Acer's market share was 17.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2008, jumping to 24.2 per cent in the same quarter of 2009.

Compared to the UK, France and Germany appear almost vibrant, with overall PC sales increasing 1.9 and 3.7 per cent, respectively. Taken as a whole, Western European PC sales were essentially flat, showing an overall decline of just 0.3 per cent. ®

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