Vizio All-in-One desktop computer. Photo: AFP
Figures from Gartner reveal that the market for desktops and laptops has continued to shrink over the third quarter of 2012 and sales are not expected to pick up again until 2013.
If further proof were needed that people are turning their backs on PCs in favor of smartphones and tablets, the latest report from Gartner should provide it. Published Thursday, it reveals that only 13.6 million PCs were shipped in Western Europe over the third quarter of 2012, a 15.4% drop compared with the same time last year and a drop in the ocean compared to the 155.5 million smartphones that were shipped worldwide during the same period.
HP and Lenovo preferred brands
As well as the whole of Western Europe, Gartner looked in detail at the UK, French and German markets and found that in the UK and France, HP is still the most popular computer brand, while Germans prefer Lenovo. Furthermore, in the UK, where computer sales dropped by 7.2% compared with the same period last year, sales have been falling consistently for almost two years. However, during the last 12 months, Apple and Toshiba had managed to achieve growth of 2.4% and 27% respectively.
In France, notebook computers accounted for 65% of the 2.6 million PCs shipped (a 7.7% decrease on Q3 2011's figures) and there was a strong demand for PCs with an all-in-one form factor.
However, the biggest drop was in Germany, where its 2.7 million PCs represented a 19% decrease from the same period last year.
The wait for Windows 8
There are a number of reasons for these figures, chief among which being the financial crisis that has swept through Eurozone countries. However, the launch of Microsoft's latest Windows operating system in October also means that many who would have otherwise bought a new computer waited until after the launch so that the PC would come with the latest version of Windows.
Of the figures, Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner, said: "We've witnessed a decline across all PC segments this quarter in Western Europe. The PC market will eventually return to growth, but the growth rate will not be at the level it was a few years ago. The real long-term challenges for the PC industry and PC vendors are to show growth and bring out products that can compete with the compelling new mobile devices coming on to the market."