Strong sales to business boosted the European PC market in the third quarter, with unit sales rising by 12.4 per cent, according to market researchers Dataquest.
This was double the growth rate of the second quarter, but well behind 1995 levels, when PC sales were increasing at 20 per cent throughout the year.
The fallback is due to a decline in the home PC boom, so that future results will be more dependent on business purchases and the economic state of individual countries. "If economic forecasts are to be trusted, then it suggests that strong PC growth will continue on through the fourth quarter too," commented Steve Brazier, senior analyst at Dataquest.
The greatest gains in market share in the third quarter went to Dell, Toshiba and Packard Bell, Olivetti's share remained static and Apple suffered the greatest drop within the top 10, falling from 5.2 per cent to 4.2 per cent of sales share.
The business PC market grew at 14.7 per cent compared to the third quarter of 1995, driven most strongly from the UK and Germany, where business sales grew at 19 per cent and 20.4 per cent respectively. Sweden showed the lowest growth at 5.4 per cent while the highest rates - admittedly from smaller bases than the UK or Germany - were seen in Norway (28.8 per cent), Ireland and Finland. Dataquest said most of these figures were roughly in line with the individual countries' overall economic growth patterns.
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