HP knocked from UK top spot by Dell and Acer

Hewlett-Packard has been ousted from the top of the UK PC market by rivals Dell and Acer after a torrid quarter of falling sales.

Hewlett-Packard has been ousted from the top of the UK PC market by rivals Dell and Acer after a torrid quarter of falling sales.

According to IDC preliminary results, total UK PC sales fell 7.2% to 2.5 million units in the second quarter, but this is better than the 12.1% drop the analyst house had earlier forecast.

However, HP, which recently parted with UK Personal Systems Group head David Wright, saw shipments fall 25.5% - more than three times the market average.

Losing market share

Split by platform, the industry heavyweight's sales fell 19.9% and 29.2% respectively in the desktop and notebook segments, ceding the top spot in the UK for the first time in nearly a year.

"HP is not consciously pushing mini notebooks, and this is costing it market share," said Eszter Morvay, IDC research manager.

In the quarter, HP combined its professional and consumer PC businesses to cut costs and market watcher Gartner reckons this could also have resulted in some lost sales.

More than 1.16 million consumer portables were sold in the three months, making it by far the biggest sector, but unlike rivals Dell and Acer, which grew 86.2% and 66.4% respectively, HP sales fell 14.6%.

Mini notebooks accounted for one-third of this segment, but HP has failed to aggressively compete in the burgeoning sector, said IDC.

A tough year

Across all form factors, Dell declined close to the market rate at 7.3%, while Acer posted growth of 36.7%.

In the UK, only consumer notebooks posted growth at 30.6%, as business and retail desktops each declined by 24.5% and professional notebook shipments fell 27%.

Morvay said the channel had been in a better position than it had during the first quarter when it was "fully stocked" following the Christmas season so there was greater room for sales-in.

She added that the rest of the year is likely to remain tough, but HP will be hoping that Jos Brenkel, who runs PSG for the supplier in the Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa, will have a big impact when he oversees the UK PSG for the next three months.

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