PCs at 'make or break' point as sales continue to plummet

PCs and laptops are at "make or break point" in the UK as sales continue to plummet, hitting nearly three years of freefall.

PCs and laptops are at "make or break point" in the UK as sales continue to plummet, hitting nearly three years of freefall.

That's according to industry watcher Gartner, which records consumer sales of desktop PCs and laptops declining by a quarter this spring. In total, British PC shipments fell by 13 per cent between April and June -- the 11th quarterly decline on the bounce.

Gartner reckons the decline in numbers in the second quarter of 2013 is partly down to the fact manufacturers are waiting to put new Intel Haswell chips and Windows 8.1 software in new PCs. Both are coming later this year.

10.9 million PCs and laptops were shipped this spring in Western Europe, a whopping 19.8 per cent less than the same time last year.

Analysts also blame the death of the netbook, chewed up and spat out by tablets in recent years.

The biggest PC manufacturer in Europe -- and the UK -- is HP. One in five PCs is an HP, but since last year its shipments have fallen by 17 per cent. Acer and Asus are hit hardest by the decline in numbers, both sliding more than 40 per cent since spring 2012.

Of the top five manufacturers, only Lenovo grew its sales, to take 11 per cent of the market.

I should point out these aren't actual sales to customers, but shipments from manufacturers to retailers. The numbers still give a picture of trends in the industry, however.

Can Windows 8.1 save the PC? Is the tablet about to kill off the laptop, like it did the netbook? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our ever-expanding Facebook page.

 

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