Tablet PC makes slow start in Europe

Shipments of Tablet PCs in Europe got off to a slow start last year, principally because of high prices and lack of language...

Shipments of Tablet PCs in Europe, got off to a slow start last year, principally because of high prices and lack of language support, according to research company IDC.

Just over 20,000 touchscreen notebook computers running Microsoft's Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system were shipped in Europe from the November launch until the end of the year.

The overall notebook computer market in the region reached nearly three million units in the same period, a 19.5% year-on-year growth rate, IDC said. Shipments of cheap, entry-level notebooks drove the growth.

Worldwide, suppliers shipped more than 72,000 Tablet PCs, with the US leading all regions with about half of the total volume.

IDC said it was too early to say if the Tablet PC will take off in the region, even though its most recent survey of IT decision makers showed that 60% were not interested buying Tablet PCs. However, it added that Intel's Centrino mobility push may help Tablet PC sales.

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