Market research outfit IDC reported that European PC sales fell by 11.2 per cent in 2011 with fewer PCs sold in both business and consumer markets.
"Western Europe remained the most impacted as PC shipments contracted for the fifth consecutive quarter," said IDC personal computing research chief Eszter Morvay.
"Fearing weak consumer sales at Christmas and slowing commercial demand, retailers and distributors across the region remained cautious when taking new orders in order to avoid an inventory build-up similar to last year," said Morvay.
IDC doesn’t believe that the hard drive shortages had a significant impact, citing the reduced demand. In the commercial space hard drive vendors prioritised the higher margin enterprise business, IDC said.
HP and Acer managed to increase market share fractionally, while Dell slipped from 9.9 per cent from 11.1 compared to the same quarter in 2010. Lenovo put in the largest market share gain, rising 35 per cent from 5.6 to 8.1 per cent of the market, benefiting from the acquisition of German PC builder Medion.