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Apple continues growth while PC makers see sharp decline in Europe

post #1 of 16
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New PC shipment data for Western Europe reveals that Apple was the only one of the top five vendors to grow in the second quarter as the region's PC shipments declined 19 percent.

Gartner reported the data, which does not include media tablets, on Wednesday. Though Apple's 0.5 percent growth in the region in the June quarter may not seem like much of a victory, the significance comes into focus when compared with the performance of its competitors.

Because of the drop in shipments from competing PC vendors, Apple's market share in the area climbed from 5.6 percent to 7.0 percent with 879,000 Macs shipped during the quarter.

Acer saw the largest decline, falling from first place as shipments of low-cost netbooks dried up. The vendor saw a drop of 44.6 percent year over year, shipping just 2.05 million units, compared to 3.69 million a year ago. The company, which led the "race to the bottom" for low-margin PCs, restructured its European operations last quarter and took a one-time charge because of "questionable" accounts of its inventories and receivables.

Asus also saw a sharp drop in shipments -- 22.9 percent year over year. Meanwhile, HP and Dell fell as well, 6.1 percent and 12.7 percent respectively.

Overall, the PC market in Western Europe declined 18.9 percent in the second quarter. Mini-notebook shipments were hit the hardest, falling 53 percent, while desktop PCs dropped by just 15.4 percent.

Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded. | Source: Gartner (August 2011)

The much anticipated uptake in the professional segment, in the wake of migration to Windows 7, was subdued by the negative economic outlook, said Gartner principal analyst Meike Escherich. PC shipments in the professional segment declined 9 percent in the second quarter of 2011. The biggest decline continued to come from the consumer segment which decreased 27 percent year-on-year.

This quarters results highlights the ongoing weakness of consumer demand, and could indicate a structural change in the market that threatens to continue in the near future, she said.

In the U.K., Samsung managed to grow 5.2 percent year over year, ahead of Apple's 1 percent growth in the country. The Korean electronics giant was the fourth largest PC vendor in the U.K., though it did not break the top five for the whole region. Apple posted 6.4 percent growth in France, while its first- through fourth-place competitors posted steep declines.

The analyst noted that increased interest in tablets in countries such as Germany and France has contributed to some of the decline in the PC market. Given the hype around media tablets such as the iPad, retailers were very conservative in placing orders for PCs, she said. Instead, many of them wanted to secure space for media tablets.

Last week, one analyst said tablet makers hoping to challenge Apple's iPad dominance may have a better shot in Europe. According to her report, Apple's smaller retail presence may provide competitors with the opportunity they need to gain traction in the market.
post #2 of 16
Which countries are counted as "western europe". I think if spain portugal and italy are included it better fits the data, though they are sometimes considered southern europe. I think UK, Germany and France are not doing that bad economically (relatively speaking), and I would not expect to see these kinds of numbers.

Mini-notebooks (aka netbooks) have disappeared about as fast as they appeared, largely thanks to the iPad so I am not surprised Asus is losing big. So even though iPad is not included in the data, it largely holds the key, along with the financial crisis, to what happened, at least on the low end.
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post #3 of 16
Sheff,

Generally speaking, "Western Europe" comprises all the former NATO European countries and excluded the former Eastern Bloc countries like Bulgaria and Poland.

Smaller countries like Portugal -- while part of geographical Western Europe -- exert far less influence in the total European economy. That's why the premier economic discussions are focused on groups like the G-8 or G-20. They dictate the large percentage of the world's economic activity.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Acer saw the largest decline, falling from first place as shipments of low-cost netbooks dried up. The vendor saw a drop of 44.6 percent year over year, shipping just 2.05 million units, compared to 3.69 million a year ago. The company, which led the "race to the bottom" for low-margin PCs...

This comes to no surprise. Only geeks, tech-heads, and tinkerers had any remote use for a netbook. They preached they were the best thing since sliced bread.

Remember the whining? "Why would anyone want to buy an iPad when a netbook does so much more and costs less, and you can do anything you want on it!"

The consumers have spoken. Netbooks are shameful pieces of engineering and a waste of valuable resources. How many have gone to landfills, dustbins, and under doors after they outlived their 15-minutes of use?
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

This comes to no surprise. Only geeks, tech-heads, and tinkerers had any remote use for a netbook. They preached they were the best thing since sliced bread.

Remember the whining? "Why would anyone want to buy an iPad when a netbook does so much more and costs less, and you can do anything you want on it!"

The consumers have spoken. Netbooks are shameful pieces of engineering and a waste of valuable resources. How many have gone to landfills, dustbins, and under doors after they outlived their 15-minutes of use?

Actually a lot of people had a lot of use for netbooks, which is why they sold so well. While you could do anything you wanted on it, 90% of people surfed the internet and played games. They were small, light, cheap and had ran much longer per charge than most laptops.

But tablets are smaller, lighter with better battery charge than netbooks, and a much better choice for the 90% who play games, surf the internet and check their e-mails.

It isn't that netbooks were bad, just that whne the iPad came along, they were replaced by something much better.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...The analyst noted that increased interest in tablets in countries such as Germany and France has contributed to some of the decline in the PC market. Given the hype around media tablets such as the iPad, retailers were very conservative in placing orders for PCs, she said. Instead, many of them wanted to secure space for media tablets.

At some point the label media tablet will be dropped and the iPad (and other tablets) will enter mainstream thinking as computers, which is what they are of course.
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #7 of 16
We are witnessing the Post PC era. Simple as that.
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

At some point the label media tablet will be dropped and the iPad (and other tablets) will enter mainstream thinking as computers, which is what they are of course.

Do they ave to consider 'other tablets' still in the stores and not sold?
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Do they ave to consider 'other tablets' still in the stores and not sold?

Just included other tablets to be politically correct!
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

New PC shipment data for Western Europe reveals that Apple was the only one of the top five vendors to grow in the second quarter even as the region's PC shipments declined 19 percent.

Josh - I fixed it for you.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairb View Post

Actually a lot of people had a lot of use for netbooks, which is why they sold so well. ...

You are being sarcastic, aren't you?
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

You are being sarcastic, aren't you?

Nah, he's just incorrect was his other comments state. However, his first sentence is true; people did have a lot of use for netbooks. The problem those usage needs couldn't be done on a netbook due to running either a desktop OS on slow Atom HW or on Linux, an alien OS to most. Then you have crappy, cramped keyboards, small trackpads with poor drivers, and poor displays that just make a few things it can do reasonably well, like play solitaire, a stressful event.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Nah, he's just incorrect was his other comments state. However, his first sentence is true; people did have a lot of use for netbooks. The problem those usage needs couldn't be done on a netbook due to running either a desktop OS on slow Atom HW or on Linux, an alien OS to most. Then you have crappy, cramped keyboards, small trackpads with poor drivers, and poor displays that just make a few things it can do reasonably well, like play solitaire, a stressful event.

That's not quite true, either. There are millions of people who are quite happy with their netbooks. The problem is twofold:

1. Many people bought netbooks when an honest evaluation of their needs would have told them not to.

and

2. Things like the iPad will do most of what netbooks do (at least for the average person) and are more convenient (plus 'cooler').

The result is that most of people who would have bought a netbook a couple of years ago are now either choosing a more powerful laptop or choosing an iPad. That doesn't mean that netbooks didn't meet anyone's needs.
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's not quite true, either. There are millions of people who are quite happy with their netbooks. The problem is twofold:

1. Many people bought netbooks when an honest evaluation of their needs would have told them not to.

and

2. Things like the iPad will do most of what netbooks do (at least for the average person) and are more convenient (plus 'cooler').

The result is that most of people who would have bought a netbook a couple of years ago are now either choosing a more powerful laptop or choosing an iPad. That doesn't mean that netbooks didn't meet anyone's needs.

Excellent post. +1
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post #15 of 16
Just wait for Windows 8 to see a real Windows sales drop. Its GUI will be a mashup of keyboard + stylus + multi-touch. Its "App Store" will contain a schizophrenic mix of dead-stock Windows apps and all-new multi-touch apps. A nightmare to develop for. A nightmare user experience.

People will recoil in shock and horror. Businesses will resist developing in-house apps and will delay purchasing software licenses for the fatally confused and confusing OS. The entire Windows user base will keep a death grip on their aging but perfectly serviceable Windows 7 (and Windows XP) boxes.

Microsoft's time-honored strategy of creating slower and slower versions of Windows has hit the wall. Vista was the last straw. The PC makers applauded the old "slower every year" strategy because it put pressure on IT departments to upgrade their PCs more often. With Vista, Microsoft added incompatibility to the mix. Older XP-based programs wouldn't run, corporate IT resisted, and sales dropped.

Windows 7 fixed many of the performance and compatibility problems ("XP Mode" anybody?) And for many users that's enough. Microsoft has finally shipped a stable OS and we're going to stick with it. Done with upgrades. XP was good enough for 9 years. 7 will be good enough for 9 more.

The Windows chorus will be singing this: "Leave multi-touch to the experts. Leave it to Apple. Eight shmeight. Just keep pushing out those Windows 7 service packs, Ballmer."

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post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's not quite true, either. There are millions of people who are quite happy with their netbooks. The problem is twofold:

1. Many people bought netbooks when an honest evaluation of their needs would have told them not to.

and

2. Things like the iPad will do most of what netbooks do (at least for the average person) and are more convenient (plus 'cooler').

The result is that most of people who would have bought a netbook a couple of years ago are now either choosing a more powerful laptop or choosing an iPad. That doesn't mean that netbooks didn't meet anyone's needs.

I would add a third problem:

3. Many netbooks were given away by cellular providers to their users. If not free, then others received massive subsidies. You cannot build a market for a product that users do not have to pay for.
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