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PC sales remain slow as businesses consider tablet devices

Jenny Williams

Global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010 fell below analyst predictions as businesses delayed purchases and considered alternative devices, according to Gartner.

Worldwide PC shipments reached 93.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 3.1% from the same period in 2009 but below analyst predictions for 4.8% growth.

Gartner said competition from media tablets, such as Apple's iPad and those from other manufacturers, as well as high component prices and austerity measures, caused businesses to delay buying replacement PCs.

Ranjit Atwal, principal research analyst at Gartner, said, "It's a lot more complex than replacing PCs with PCs. With tablets coming into the market, organisations are looking at other alternatives. A combination of devices might assist its users," he said.

Atwal said high memory component prices and the euro/dollar exchange rate limited PC price reductions throughout the year, driving businesses to delay purchases further.

Hewlett-Packard retained the number one position with 18.8% market share. Acer Group came second with 12.7% market share, followed by Dell and Lenovo with 11.6% and 10.1% respectively.

Lenovo marked the strongest year-on-year growth among the top five suppliers, driven by replacement purchases in the professional PC market, said Gartner.

Atwal added that operating systems (OS) will increasingly overtake hardware in terms of importance for buying decisions as businesses seek a particular OS as a platform to meet their users' requirements.

[Table: EMEA PC vendor unit shipments estimates for 4Q10 (in thousands of units) Source: Gartner]

Company 4Q2010 4Q10 marketshare (%) 4Q09 shipments 4Q09 marketshare (%) 4Q10-4Q09 growth (%)
Hewlett-Packard 6,483 20.3 6,012 19.9 8
Acer 6,426 20.1 5,862 19.4 10
Dell 3,036 9.5 2,719 9 12
Asus 2,250 7 2,511 8.3 -10
Lenovo 1,788 5.6 1,364 4.5 31
Others 12,027 37.6 11,686 38.8 3
Total 32,010 100 30,154 100 6


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