Notebooks Drive European PC Shipments

PC shipments in Western Europe increased 9.3 percent in the second quarter compared to the year-earlier period, fueled by strong consumer demand, particularly for notebook computers, according to market research published Monday by Gartner Inc.

Shipments totalled 11.2 million units in the second quarter, with Germany, France and the U.K. accounting for nearly half of the units.

In the U.K., shipments increased 8 percent year over year to 2.1 million units. Consumer purchases of notebooks and desktop PCs drove the growth, according to Gartner.

Dell Inc., which remains the largest supplier of PCs in the U.K., saw its shipments in the country dip 7.1 percent to 530,000 units in the second quarter. By comparison, the company's four major rivals, including Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and Acer Inc., were able to sell more products and subsequently increase market share.

In Germany, second-quarter PC shipments rose 5.7 percent to 2 million [m] units. Notebooks shipments were up 15.5 percent year over year, while desktop PCs dropped 2.7 percent.

The largest supplier of PCs in Germany, Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) BV, was the only vendor to record a decline; second-quarter shipments of the company, a 50-50 joint venture between Germany's Siemens AG and Japan's Fujitsu Ltd., dropped 12.9 percent to 301,000 units. The company saw its market share erode from 18.3 percent in the second quarter of 2006 to 15.1 percent in the same quarter this year.

Similar to other markets in Western Europe, France experienced strong consumer demand for PCs, particularly notebooks. Total PC shipments were 1.85 million in the second quarter. HP recorded an 11.4 percent increase in shipments to 381,000 units, giving the company a market share of 20.6 percent.

Low demand for desktop PCs from large accounts continued to affect Dell's shipments, according to Gartner. The U.S. computer maker, the third-largest supplier in France, shipped 281,000 units in the second quarter, up 4.7 percent over the year-earlier period, for a market share of 15.2 percent.

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