Mini-notebooks bolster fourth quarter PC sales

Antony Savvas

PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 20.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2008, an increase of 12.1% on the same period in 2007, said analyst Gartner.

"Surprisingly, in the fourth quarter of 2008 Western Europe was the strongest performing region in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as both Central Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa were impacted severely by the worsening economic conditions," said Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal.

"Mini-notebooks continued to boost growth, reaching nearly 2.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, with the telco channel gathering greater importance as a route to market for the PC suppliers," he said.

"Whilst growth in PC sales in Western Europe was good, the underlying trend was down, with the professional market experiencing a 5% decline in the fourth quarter of 2008. If it was not for mini-notebooks, the overall Western European market would be showing a decline. This does not bode well for 2009, as we expect the general economic conditions to worsen," said Atwal.

Hewlett-Packard was the biggest supplier by shipments overall, followed by Acer and then Dell. In the UK, Dell pipped Acer to the number two spot behind HP.

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