Gartner: Apple Mac share up 20% in Europe YOY as PC shipments plunge 11.4%

PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 14.8 million units in the third quarter of 2011, a 11.4 percent decline from the same period last year, according to Gartner, Inc.

“The inventory build-up that slowed growth in the last four quarters was mostly cleared during the third quarter of 2011; however, the PC industry continued to perform below normal seasonality,” said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner, in the press release. “The results in the third quarter of 2011 make unpleasant reading for the PC industry, as the third quarter is traditionally a strong consumer quarter, driven by back-to-school sales.”

The mobile-PC market was particularly hard hit with a 12.6 percent decline, driven by more than a 40 percent decrease in mini notebook shipments in the third quarter of 2011. Desktops declined 8.7 percent.

The market segment showing the greatest decline was in the consumer segment, which decreased 18.8 percent year-on-year. The much hoped-for uptake of professional PCs in the wake of the migration to Windows7 remained subdued by the pessimistic economic outlook. PC shipments in the professional segment declined 2.1 percent year-on-year.

HP retained its No. 1 position, managing the uncertainties around a possible spin–off of its PC division better than expected. Asus’s shipments increased sharply, with growth in notebooks across the consumer and small or midsize business (SMB) markets. As a result, ASUS moved above Dell to the No. 3 position, and Dell fell to No. 4. Acer’s continuing inventory problems opened up the channel for ASUS and other vendors to push their own shipments. Apple reached fifth place with 28 percent growth in mobile PCs. Apple experienced double-digit growth in both the consumer and professional space.

“The share of mini-notebooks continues to decline, which contributed to the weak year-on-year comparison. Moreover, the consumer PC markets in Western Europe remained essentially weak, with consumer confidence permanently shaken by the economic issues spreading across most of the region,” said Ms. Escherich.

Table 1: Western Europe: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q11 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Western Europe: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q11 (Thousands of Units)
Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (November 2011)

UK: Market Moved at Three Speeds

PC shipments in the UK totalled 2.9 million units in the third quarter of 2011, an 11 percent decline compared with the same period in 2010 (see Table 2).

“The market seems to be moving at three speeds,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “The top two vendors, HP and Dell, continued to struggle to find new opportunities and experienced single-digit declines; Acer, in the process of inventory re-adjustment, declined more than 50 percent; Apple and Samsung gained strength in the market. More importantly, quarter-on-quarter, all vendors saw growth apart from Acer, suggesting the fluctuations in the market may be bottoming out.”

The consumer market had the biggest impact as PC shipments in this segment declined 18 percent year-over-year. Over the last year as HP’s, and particularly Acer’s, dominance has begun to shrink, the next tier of vendors, headed by Samsung and Apple, have been making the consumer market much more competitive with increased choices on retailers’ shelves. The professional PC market remains muted but the need of organizations to move to Windows 7 provides some underlying momentum.

In the third quarter of 2011, HP retained its No. 1 position acquired last quarter with Dell also holding on to second place. Samsung chased Apple for the fourth position and collectively had a higher market share than Acer. With brand becoming more important as buying criterion in the PC market both of these vendors have a strong PC and cross device proposition. This will enable them to tackle the top three even more in 2012.

Table 2: United KingdomPC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q11 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: United KingdomPC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q11 (Thousands of Units)
Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media Tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (November 2011)

France: PC market better than the Western European average

The PC market in France showed a slight decline and exhibited results better than the Western European average in the third quarter of 2011. PC shipments in France totaled 2.6 million units in the third quarter of 2011, a decline of 2.1 percent compared with the same period in 2010 (see Table 3).

“The PC market in France performed slightly above expectations due to better results in the professional segment,” said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner.

The consumer PC market declined 9.2 percent mainly because the demand for mini notebooks was lower compared with a year ago. Retailers also shifted their focus to other devices such as media tablets and once more this quarter they have been cautious in placing orders. The consumer market was also affected by the continuing decline in the desktop segment.

The professional market saw more demand for mobile PC replacements with Windows 7 migration, and the segment increased by 10 percent in the third quarter of 2011.

“In the third quarter of 2011, the mobile PC market accounted for 69 percent of total PC shipments in France, with volumes growing by 3 percent. Deskbased PCs declined by 11 percent year-on-year,” said Ms. Durand. “Of the total mobile segment, mini notebooks declined by 21 percent year-on-year.”

In the third quarter 2011, of the top five vendors, only ASUS and Toshiba showed growth. HP regained the No. 1 spot, despite a slight decline mainly due to low results in the consumer segment as it benefited from the uptake in the professional market. ASUS achieved good results and replaced Dell in the No. 3 position. Acer’s channel inventory levels were reduced, but the channel has been conservative in placing orders following the inventory issues.

The French PC market is expected to show some positive trends in the fourth quarter of 2011. Growth should improve towards the end of the year with product refreshes and promotions.

Table 3: France: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q11 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: France: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q11 (Thousands of Units)
Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media Tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (November 2011)

Germany: PC Market Saw Fifth Consecutive Quarter of Shipment Declines

PC shipments in Germany totalled 3 million units in the third quarter of 2011, a decrease of 7.9 percent compared with the same period in 2010 (see Table 4). This is the fifth consecutive quarter of declines for the German PC market.

“As expected, back-to-school PC sales were disappointing as the popularity of non-PC devices, such as media tablets and smartphones, diverted consumer spending from PCs. Exceptionally low consumer demand resulted in a 17 percent decline in the home segment,” said Ms. Escherich.

The PC market continued to be hit by poor mobile PC sales that decreased 8.8 percent in the third quarter of 2011. The decrease was once again steeper than for the desktop PC market which declined 5.9 percent in the third quarter quarter.

HP continued its lead in the PC market in Germany as it accounted for 15.8 percent of PC shipments in the third quarter of 2011. Demand in the professional PC market has improved as organisations released budgets to migrate aging PCs to Windows 7. HP in particular seemed to benefit from this upturn in the professional market, and it showed above-average growth. During the third quarter nearly every one in four professional PCs was shipped by HP.

In the third quarter of 2011, Acer dropped its market share further. Acer shipments declined 42 percent, as a large number of mobile PCs were cleared out of distribution. ASUS’s continued investment in sales and marketing beyond the consumer segment seemed to work well. ASUS secured third place in the market by widening the gap with Dell, now in fifth place. Balancing profit and volume gain was a challenge for Dell in a tough competitive environment. Fujitsu achieved double-digit growth in the third quarter of 2011 after struggling to grow for several quarters. The growth was due in part to a comparison with a weak quarter last year. However, Fujitsu’s re-organisation and more-aggressive approach on pricing in the professional market has helped.

“Quarter-on-quarter growth of 23.5 percent could be seen as an indicator that the PC market in Germany is at least stabilising, and maybe has bottomed out, as shipments finally settle on new lower growth levels” said Ms. Escherich.

Table 4: Germany: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q11 (Thousands of Units)
Gartner: Germany: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q11 (Thousands of Units)
Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded
Source: Gartner (November 2011)


  1. I have a couple of suppliers who rang me last week to tell me that they could not submit a quote on time because their Windows laptop was infected by viruses. It happens more commonly than you think. Of course people don’t backup as often as they should because Microsoft makes backing up on Windows a time consuming convoluted affair, unlike Time Machine on a Mac. MS touts that Windows has the ability to backup your files in the background but it’s like McDonald’s saying you can have French fries if you harvested the potato from the field first.

    Anyway to cut a long story short, they’re trapped in Windows-land due to having to work with Office files and a bunch of programs/apps paid for by the company. I did convince one of them to give the Mac a try as I told him I’ve had a trouble-free existence from day one.

    1. AAPL is going to be under pressure until relief comes in the form of iPhone 4S sales numbers beyond the first quarter to see if it’s sustainable post launch. Since the iPhone makes up 62% of Apple’s revenues, any blip in sales will feed through to the bottom line. My reading of it is the market remains unconvinced that a warmed over design is groundbreaking enough to hold ground against the upcoming assault by Android but there are always two sides to the coin. The sceptics are winning at the moment.

    2. Mac sales up, iPhone sales up, iPad sales up. Apple is taking the bacon…
      Apple stock DOWN!

      I’d say that says about all you need to know about Apple. If the stock goes down when the sales and profits are up, I’d shudder to think about when sales and profits go down. Apple shareholders have got a boat anchor around their necks and are heading towards Davy Jones Locker.

      No malice. I’m merely pointing out the obvious irony of the matter.

      1. It seems to me that Apple is being made the sacrificial lamb for the failure of the rest of the industry to innovate. Even though Apple is realizing record sales and profits the money men are still not convince and decide to bank their hopes on copycat Google with its free-meal mantra; and a dud Amazon with its less-than-inspiring Kindle Fire. So this is how Wall Street decapitates the industrial might of the US by focussing merely on how to grow fools’ money on trees through speculative play and forgetting on more substantial issues. If there is one major reason why the United States has fallen behind in all areas of human endeavor, it’s Wall Street’s short-sighted vision to create false wealth at all cost.

  2. Again, this needs to be reported as Apple Mac OSX vs. non-Mac OS. The non-Mac OS was negative last quarter but hidden by the growth of the Mac OS and by playing with this PC box growth is up and that one is down. They are just stealing the scraps from each other.

    I will calculate this again later. Try plotting it out and see where the numbers are in 3 years! The tsunami is here and growing and it is the great PC OS switch and they will not report it as such. Doesn’t matter, IT WILL HAPPEN ANYWAY!

    1. Come on, stop with that same old song. What really matters to consumers is how many of their friends are using the computer they would like to buy. They don’t care if the company beats the others in profits and in fact, they may not want to fill the coffers of Apple.

      Don’t get me wrong, I am long on AAPL to the tune of 3050 shares and would love to see Apple get a bigger share of the market.

  3. It seems that any good news for Apple doesn’t effect the jerks that short sell Apple stock. There’s no reason for Apple stock to be down, none at all. Apple is ripping a new one in the industry that no one can touch. The stock should have been over $600 a share by now if it was any other company.

  4. It shall be interesting to see how the shortage of hard disks due to the flooding in Thailand affects PC manufacturers in the next several quarters.

    Apple, already heavily into SSDs in the MacBook Air, should do better than those who have not started producing units with SSDs. However, Apple is still exposed with iMacs and other models without SSDs.

    SSD = Solid State Drive

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