PC market growth in the UK outperformed European average growth for the first time in a year, the latest figures from market research firm Context have revealed.
The company said a stable UK economy and low interest rates had pushed public spending up, giving a positive influence on PC unit shipments and resulting in a 21.5 per cent growth rate year on year
In addition, unlike most other European countries, the UK saw the quarter's consumer market booming, helped by consumer sales through supermarkets.
Marie-Christine Pygott, senior PC analyst at Context said the soaring demand from small and medium sized businesses, in the UK and the rest of Europe, was fuelled by the Year 2000 issue and by the launch of new products specifically targeted at SMEs.
She commented: "Weakening consumers sales [in Europe] this quarter should have led to lower growth rates, but the high SME demand pushed sales. We expect to see this demand increase in Europe in the next quarters, with more and more SME's preparing for Y2K."
She added: "Q3 is therefore likely to see continued high growth in Europe, although Y2K related sales might ease off in Q4."
Volume shipments for the whole of Western Europe grew by 21.7 per cent in the quarter to 6.1 million units compared with the same period a year earlier.
On the vendor side, Compaq retained the top European slot, but its market share decreased slightly compared to Q2 1998, to 18.1 per cent.
Dell maintained the number two slot with 10.3 per cent, followed by IBM at 9.9 per cent. Hewlett-Packard, which lots its position among the top five in Q1 1999, had a strong comeback this quarter and ranked fourth with a 7.7 per cent share.
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