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UK PC sales plunged in Q1

Tablets, yes; netbooks and notebooks, no

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Brits aren't buying so many computers these days, but they are taking to tablets.

But while tablet sales are well up year on year, it hasn't been enough to compensate for slowing notebook, netbook and desktop demand.

UK PC sales during the first quarter of the year were down 7.7 per cent, well below the European average of 2.9 per cent. Only Italy and Spain saw bigger declines, of 10.4 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively. France and Germany both saw sales rise.

The decline was mapped out by market watcher Context, though its data, sourced from the distributors, resellers and retailers who move machines between supplier and buyer, only covers around 40 per cent of the computers sold here.

Context estimates that UK consumer computer sales were down 27.5 per cent, compared to a 16.5 per cent decline across Europe as a whole.

Notebook unit sales fell 5.8 per cent during Q1, while netbooks were down 25.6 per cent year on year. Desktop unit sales fell 9.3 per cent.

Tablet sales, by contrast were, up 910 per cent.

"We still have to wait until the vendors report what they shipped into their distribution channels during the first quarter," said Context CEO Jeremy Davies, "but with people buying fewer PCs than previously... there will be many distributors and retailers trying to get rid of excess stock in the months to come."

Cheaper kit incoming? We hope so. ®

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