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Gartner: UK PC market stayed on its knees in Q2

Will 'solid growth' ever return?

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The UK PC market was lifeless in Q2 and apocalyptic beancounter Gartner is not sure the whether it can be fully revived ever again.

Or maybe its just that PC disties are placing fewer, less sizeable orders in anticipation of slow summer sales – and with one eye on keeping inventory at more manageable levels after getting burnt in 2011.

Shipments into the channel declined 7.6 per cent to 2.5 million units in Q2 compared to the same period a year earlier, Gartner said.

The market was "depressed across the board" said Ranjit Atwal, research director at the abacus-stroking market estimator.

The top three vendors all fared worse than the market average, with HP down 11.7 per cent, Dell collapsing 23.2 per cent and Acer unit sales-in down 14 per cent.

Only fifth-placed Apple and fourth-placed Toshiba reported growth in unit sales to IT wholesalers; the pair were up 10 per cent and 50 per cent respectively. It should be noted, though, that Toshiba's gains were against a backdrop of a very weak Q2 2011.

"The real worry for the UK PC market is whether it will ever return to solid growth," said Atwal.

"Windows 8 and Ultrabooks now look even more important. However messages emerging from the PC supply chain remain inconsistent and largely uninspiring," he added.

Gartner claimed the channel is holding back on new shipment orders until the Christmas quarter.

The market across Western Europe declined 2.4 per cent in Q2 with 13.6 million boxes sold to distributors. The market in France was up marginally at 0.7 per cent and down 6.5 per cent in Germany. ®

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