Overall computer sales in Western Europe grew by just one per cent in the three months to the end of June, the first time for four years quarter on quarter sales have failed to increase by at least 10 per cent.
The figures, from researcher IDC, show a fall in desktop sales, single figure growth in laptop sales (again for the first time in many years) but double digit growth for Intel servers.
Analysts warned that only moderate sales growth can be expected this year and next.
They also said that despite current caution, companies would upgrade to laptops rather than desktops in the future to take advantage of falling prices, lower ownership costs and features like wireless networking.
Karine Paoli, analyst at IDC, commented: "Many markets [in Europe] have not reached saturation yet, especially in the mobile PC space. But the question of margin and profitability will remain, as the market has become more competitive than ever."
PC makers have engaged in a price war to retain their share of sales in the face of tougher market conditions.
IDC said that Dell and Hewlett Packard had fared best, but that Compaq was still the European leader. Compaq recently lost its status as global market leader to Dell.
Compaq increased its share to 17.4 per cent (up from 16.6 per cent a year ago), with Dell next on 10.1 per cent (8.9), Hewlett Packard on 8.4 per cent (7.5), Fujitsu Siemens down to 7.9 per cent (from 8.9) and IBM fifth on 7.4 per cent (7.0).
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