Business as usual
We got a sneak preview of the latest preliminary figures from IDC on the UK PC market ahead of the official announcement later this morning and they reveal that even the continued strength of consumer mobile PC demand was not enough to prevent the market from contracting in Q4 '09.
Remarkably, UK consumers bought over two million mobile PCs last quarter, a large proportion of which we can safely assume were netbooks. This equated to growth of 16.5 percent on Q4 of 2008 - and even consumer desktop spend managed growth of 0.3 percent - but bear in mind the global economic catastrophe really kicked off in that quarter.
This makes the business figures look even grimmer. There was a rapid shut-down in spending across the board in the last quarter of '08 as everyone went into wait-and-see mode. So for the commercial segment to contract by 19.8 percent in desktops and 21.9 percent in mobile, from even that dark quarter, really is a poor performance.
The upshot of all this is that the total UK PC market shrank by 1.7 percent, year-on-year, in Q4 2009. The silver lining is that Q4 2010 figures should show decent year-on-year growth.
Among the vendors, Acer maintained its number on spot in the UK with 19.8 percent of the market, but HP seems to have had a stormer. In Q3 '09 it was third behind Dell but in one quarter it has not only overtaken Dell but is snapping at Acer's heels with 19.2 percent of the market. This is especially impressive given the weak commercial sector.