Though global declines in the PC market could have been worse during the third quarter, shipment numbers are still falling quickly. This is especially true in established markets, where tablets have eaten into PC sales for the past two years.
Market research firm Gartner today released a report showing that European PC shipments during the third quarter were down to 11.9 million - a nearly 13% drop from shipments one year ago. All types of PCs, including desktops, notebooks, and enterprise saw sales decline year-over-year.
"The PC market in Western Europe continued to shrink, declining faster than expected," said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner. "The transition from PCs to tablets continued to reduce PC sales. In addition, product transitions to 'Haswell' and 'Bay Trail' processors, and preparations for the launch of Windows 8.1 and associated new products, meant that vendors were careful about managing inventory and focused on clearing out stock in the distribution channel."
HP still leads European PC shipments with 2.6 million units shipped, which is only a small 0.2% drop in its shipments from the third quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, Lenovo is the only major manufacturer besides Dell (which saw 1.1% shipment growth) to actually improve on its shipments. The Chinese company shipped 16.3% more PCs year-over-year to Europe during the third quarter, rising to second place behind HP with nearly 1.5 million units shipped.
Of particular note is that Acer saw a 28% shipment decline during the third quarter. This no doubt reflects one of the "complicated and harsh challenges" Acer CEO J.T. Wang cited this week as he resigned his position at the company.