Shipments of netbooks dropped by 25 per cent in the past quarter, and the trend is expected to increase with the arrival of more tablet PCs, according to new figures from research firm IDC.
PC shipments in western Europe rose by just 0.5 per cent following the decline in netbook sales over the quarter.
The meagre rise was attributed to high sales in the second quarter, less attractive price points, and the contraction of the netbook market, explained Eszter Morvay, a research manager for IDC's EMEA PC tracker.
"Mini notebooks had started to slow down in Q1, but increasing noise and announcements around media tablets have contributed to accelerating the trend, and have affected notebook renewal intentions from a share of wallet standpoint, " she said.
"Some users had already purchased an iPad, and many others have adopted a wait-and-see position as more products develop towards Christmas."
Overall PC sales rose to 27.8 million in the third quarter, and the EMEA region recorded a 10.5 per cent increase in shipments year on year.
The Central and Eastern EMEA region also performed strongly, logging a 29.4 per cent year-on-year increase in sales to 11.2 million.
Acer regained its position as the leading vendor, despite recording overall growth of just 3.4 per cent across EMEA.
HP dropped to second place following a slowdown in growth, but still has a 10 per cent lead over third placed Dell. Asus and Lenovo rounded out the top five.
Netbook sales are predicted to hit 58 million by the end of this year, according to ABI Research, and tablets could be on course for mass adoption.
Apple iPad sales are expected to reach 20 million in 2011, and have had a surprisingly high business uptake so far.
Manufacturers have been rushing to get tablets to market ever since, and the HP Slate 500, which runs on Windows 7 and exclusively targets business users, is the latest example.
The Advent Vega and Samsung Galaxy Tab will go head-to-head when they go on sale in the UK on 1 November, and a wave of new releases are expected throughout 2011.
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