Shipments of PCs in the UK dropped by 15% in the second quarter of 2011, according to a report released today by analyst firm Gartner.
Across Western Europe, the decline in PC shipments was even steeper, at 18.9% year-on-year.
Gartner attributed this decline prinicipally to dwindling demand among consumers to replace their old computers. Shipments of consumer PCs fell 27% year-on-year.
"PCs are not attracting consumers’ disposable income, particularly in light of alternative devices," remarked principal analyst Isabelle Durand. "While remaining an important device to consumers, there are few compelling technological reasons to drive PC replacements."
However, the report also noted that the professional market for PCs also remained weak, as the drive to upgrade the PC estate has been overshadowed by negative economic outlook.
Acer, which last year rose to become market share leader in the UK, suffered a 47% drop in shipments year-on-year, pulling down total shipments down further than expected. This allowed Hewlett-Packard to capture the top spot this year.
Gartner’s report comes a week after Mark Dean, IBM’s CTO for the Middle East and Africa, wrote that PCs are going "the way of the typewriter".
"When I helped design the PC, I didn’t think I’d live long enough to witness its decline," Dean wrote. "But, while PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing. They’re going the way of the vacuum tube, typewriter, vinyl records, [cathode ray tubes] and incandescent light bulbs."
Dean added that he was proud of IBM’s decision to leave the PC business in 2005, when that side of operations was sold to Lenovo. "While many in the tech industry questioned IBM’s decision to exit the business at the time, it’s now clear that our company was in the vanguard of the post-PC era," Dean wrote.