PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 16,7-million units in the third quarter of 2009, a slight decrease of 0,3% compared with the same period in 2008, according to Gartner. However, the third quarter showed a return to seasonal growth patterns with a sequential increase of 30%.

“The Western European PC market saw varied results across Europe with two of the largest markets, Germany and France showing growth, and smaller markets like Spain and Northern Europe exhibiting a decline,” says Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner.
However, the market dynamics were similar across most countries, with weak professional markets and more positive consumer markets.
“What will vary going forward will be the speed at which the professional market will grow,” Atwal says. “Some markets will see growth much faster than others creating bigger opportunities for vendors. The time-span of the decline varied across countries in the third quarter of 2009, with countries such as France that have only had one quarter of shipment decline before returning to growth, whereas the UK, Spain and Ireland have seen a prolonged negative performance in the market.”
Mini-notebooks were the driving force behind the sustained growth in the consumer market in the third quarter of 2009. The success of mini-notebooks continued to surprise many vendors that have only reluctantly joined the market with products, fearing further revenue declines per unit without sufficient profit margins. Vendors like Acer and Samsung have taken the greatest advantage of the mini-notebook boom, generating significant sales through the telco channels.
Acer was agin the top PC vendor in Western Europe for the quarter, strengthening its market share to 28,3%, from 23,3% during the same period last year. HP retained the second pace with an almost unchanged 21,5% market share, slightly up from 21,2% last year.
Dell came in at third, with 9,5% markets share, down from 11,9%, followed by Asus, with an unchanged 6,5% and Toshiba with 5,8%.
“Samsung is growing significantly in the PC market with 138% growth year-on-year. Its brand presence created by its mobile phone, televisions and other consumer electronics markets is certainly being leveraged by Samsung’s PC department,” says Atwal.
In the third quarter of 2009, apart from Acer, the biggest winners, Apple and Samsung, were outside the top five. Hewlett-Packard (HP) just managed to get ahead of the market average while Dell continued to suffer in the professional market. Toshiba managed to see growth in Western Europe but saw a weak performance in other regions.
Overall, vendors remain cautious as there is still uncertainty in the overall market conditions. Gartner expects the Western European PC market to exhibit growth in the fourth quarter and reach more sustained growth in 2010.