It's clear that PC shipments are declining worldwide, beset by the rise of the tablet market and the failure of Windows 8. This week, one analyst firm is showing a dramatic decline in PC shipments in Western Europe in particular.
Research firm Gartner this week released numbers estimating that 10.9 million PCs were shipped in Europe during the second quarter of 2013. That's a 19.8% decline from the 13.6 million units shipped during the same quarter last year. Mirroring the worldwide numbers, Lenovo was the only major PC manufacturer to see its shipments rise year-over-year.
Numbers for the U.K. in particular were nearly as bad, with shipments down 15% from last year. Gartner pointed out that his is the 11th consecutive quarter where PC shipments have declined in the U.K. France saw its shipments drop 19.1% from last year, and the German market was down 18.7%
"After several depressing years the PC vendors are now at a make or break point in this industry," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "The product transition involving both hardware and the upgrade of Windows 8.1 needs to reverse the steep declines we have seen in the PC market."
Gartner blames this decline on the end of the netbook market and manufacturers clearing inventory for Intel's new Haswell processors, as well as Microsoft's upgraded Windows 8.1. The firm does see some hope, though, for the fourth quarter of 2013, when new software and hardware could bring costs down to competitive levels with tablets.
"We can expect some attractive new PCs in the stores for the fourth quarter of 2013, running Windows 8.1 with thinner form factors and longer battery life enabled by Intel's Haswell processors," said Meiki Escherich, principal reserach analyst at Gartner. "These PCs will compete with high-end tablets and will be complemented by a new generation of Atom-based devices that will compete with low-end basic tablets. Although this will not fully compensate for the ongoing PC decline, it does create an opportunity for profit in the midrange and more high end PC segments."