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Western European PC Market Dips 4 Percent in Q4 2013

PC market in Germany, France and U.K. showed single-digit decline in fourth quarter of 2013

PC shipments in Western Europe totaled 14.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a decline of 4.4 percent compared with the same period in 2012, according to Gartner.

All PC segments in Western Europe decreased. Mobile and desktop PC shipments declined 6.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. PC shipments in the professional PC market declined 1.7 percent, while the consumer PC market fell seven percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“Shipments for traditional PCs (desktops and mobile PCs) in 2013 decreased 14 percent, but the rate of unit decline is moderate across geographies — which could indicate that the impact of tablets cannibalizing PC sales in mature markets is fading,” said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Additionally, large numbers of professional PCs running on Windows XP remained in use, and the corporate market has been increasing its PC replacement — making up for a weak consumer PC market.”

In the fourth quarter of 2013, HP remained the No. 1 PC vendor in Western Europe. HP, Lenovo and Asus strengthened their positions in the PC market at the expense of Samsung and Toshiba. “The battle for the fifth place was fierce,” said Ms. Escherich. “Apple and Dell were very close in volume terms, but Apple won the No. 5 position in the fourth quarter of 2013 with double-digit growth in both the mobile and desktop PC markets. Apple has a strong presence in the consumer PC market, while Dell’s presence in the enterprise is strong. “If demand for business PCs is stronger than consumer PCs, we may see the ranking change next quarter,” added Ms. Escherich.

“Holiday sales in Western Europe were primarily dominated by tablets and mobile devices,” said Ms. Escherich. “However, hybrid devices and lower cost notebooks could spur growth in 2014.”

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