IT budget cuts have sent UK sales of business PCs 25% down in the second quarter compared with a year ago, according to research firm Gartner.
The overall PC market was down only 6.5%, but this was buoyed by the sudden growth in popularity of the netbook in the consumer sector, Gartner said in a report.
PC sales across Western Europe fell only 3.3%, but Gartner estimates that, without the introduction of low price netbooks, the decline would have been about five times greater.
Acer, which has done well on sales of netbooks, saw 32.6% year-on-year growth. The more business-focussed Dell saw a decline of 6% and HP's sales fell by 25.1%.
The quarter was marked by the decline across both desk-based and mobile PCs, with a quarter of the professional market disappearing," said Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal.
Many businesses have indicated that they are sweating as many hardware IT assets as possible to ensure they have enough budget for more strategic projects.
According to Gartner, the UK PC market will not recover from the effects of the economic downturn until next year.