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Forget Ultrabooks and Win 8 - only fondleslabs can save us now

Western Europe PC space a busted flush, says Context

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Only the fondleslab can save the flatlining PC market this year, as sales of traditional platforms continue to flatline – and nothing on the horizon suggests a buying frenzy is likely in the second half of the year.

At least this is the view of top channel bean-counter Context, which tracks distributor output. The analyst coughed numbers for April and May showing sales to consumers and businesses fell 16.6 per cent on average in Western Europe.

"It's going to take a lot to wake up Europe's PC market over the rest of the year," said Context CEO Jeremy Davies. "Ultrabooks, while popular, remain too pricey to spur PC growth, and the jury's still out on Windows 8."

No platform was immune to the downturn: notebooks slid 16.6 per cent; netbooks collapsed 45.7 per cent; desktops dropped 7.2 per cent; and servers and workstations sunk 12.5 per cent and 17.9 per cent respectively.

Only Sweden and Finland recorded any growth in the region – up 19.4 per cent and 7.3 per cent respectively – and Austria recorded the steepest sales drop, falling nearly 32 per cent year-on-year.

The UK fell 5.2 per cent, the smallest drop across any of the countries that reported sinking shipments. Context tells us that here, only server sales grew with all other platforms down.

Davies said: "It seems that consumers simply don't have the finance to continue buying PCs while businesses are still impacted by negative economic news.

"The only bright spot is tablets. Perhaps the novelty factor and delight the user interface brings can stir buyers out of their depression provided pricing is right," he added.

Tablet numbers for Western Europe are not yet available. ®

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