Fourth quarter growth in the EMEA PC market sunk to levels not seen since the turn of the millennium but sales for the entire year still managed to climb healthily, according to preliminary data by Gartner.
Regional sales in the final three months of 2008 totalled 30.4m units, a 4.9% increase on the same period a year earlier but for the whole year shipments rose 17% to 107.9m PCs.
"As expected the EMEA PC market slowed rapidly during the fourth quarter of 2008 with growth levels hitting those last seen during the 2000/2001 period," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner.
The UK was set aside for special mention as one of the weakest growth markets across Western Europe while the Russian and Turkish territories grew the slowest in Central Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa respectively.
The downturn had the biggest impact on the professional segment as all businesses reviewed spending on PCs but the consumer market was least impacted, with mobile growth propping up sales.
During the fourth quarter, HP regained the top spot with 12.5% growth - more than twice the market average - while Acer moved down into second place with more modest growth of 6.8%. Dell grew at only 0.5% and remained in third.