PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 13,6-million units in the second quarter of 2012, a 2,4% decline compared with the equivalent period in 2011, according to Gartner.

“Although we saw a slight uptake in mobile PC sales, the Western Europe PC market recorded weak overall PC shipments across all countries,” says Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.

In Western Europe, mobile PC shipments grew 4%, while desk-based PC shipments declined 12,8%  in the second quarter of 2012. The professional PC market declined 5.3 percent, while the consumer PC market was almost flat, with 0,4% growth.

Despite losing market share, HP retained the number one position in the Western Europe PC market in the second quarter of 2012. Acer put in a strong performance, having resolved its inventory issues. Acer increased its market share by 2,7 percentage points, which helped it retain the number two spot. Asus had the best performance among the top five vendors and moved up to number three.

“Asus excelled at diversifying its product portfolio, which includes mobile PCs and desk-based PCs, and it is now expanding into ultrabooks and tablets, all of which are marketed at attractive prices,” says Escherich. Dell struggled to increase its PC shipments and dropped to number four. Its transformation from a PC supplier to a solution provider for professional markets is ongoing and has yet to result in an increase in market share.

“Consumer spending on PCs has been stalled by the ongoing economic uncertainty. If demand, especially from consumers, remains weak there might be some old stock left in the channels ahead of the Windows 8 launch in October. This could lead to significant price cuts in September, and challenges may arise in selling new products into the channel in the third quarter of 2012,” says Escherich.