European PC sales dropped by seven per cent in 2011 compared with 2010, as the ongoing financial uncertainty gripping the region continued to impact spending in consumer and enterprise markets, according to new figures from IDC.
In its report, the firm noted that sales for the entire European, African and Middle Eastern regions hit 103 million units, down from 110 million in 2010, while fourth quarter sales for 2011 were down by more than two million to 29.7 million.
However, this was an increase on the third quarter of 2011, where sales were 26.7 million, suggesting the Christmas period did lead to an increase in demand.
IDC research manager for personal computing in Europe Eszter Morva, said sales in business markets had been hurt by the SME sector's reduced credit options from banks and austerity measures hitting public sector spending, as neither enterprise nor consumer spend picked up.
"Sustained weakness in consumer demand for PCs remained the key inhibitor of improvement, with shipments contracting by 16.1 per cent, while commercial trends have also taken a turn for the worse, at -5.2 per cent," he said.
However, despite the overall market slow down, vendors experienced widely different fortunes, with HP and Acer losing considerable market share (8.8 and 24.4 per cent respectively), while Dell, Asus and Lenovo all gained.
Of these firms, Lenovo was the clear winner, increasing market share by 35.5 per cent, as sales rose from 1.7 million to 2.4 million over the 12-month period.
IDC noted this was due, in part, to its acquisition of Medion in Germany for $900m in June last year.
Despite HP's slump, it still remained the largest vendor by volume, shipping 6.03 million devices, although this was down from 6.6 million in 2010.
The figures from IDC match those from competitor Gartner, which said last week that global PC sales declined 1.4 per cent in 2011 due to wavering demand and also predicted a reduction in overall IT spend for 2012 due to floods in Thailand impacting manufacturing.
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