updated 10:50 pm EDT, Wed August 17, 2011
Mac grows in Europe in Q2 2011 while Windows falls
Apple was the only major computer manufacturer in Western Europe to keep growing this past spring, Gartner uncovered in a continent-wide breakdown on Wednesday. Apple only grew shipments by half a percent to hit seven percent of the market, but all Windows-based PC makers dropped in the same period. HP and Dell gained share but still saw their shipments drop by 6.1 percent and 12.7 percent each, while Acer faced a disastrous 44.6 percent after its 'abnormalities' in overstock forced it to ship 44.6 percent fewer PCs and drop to second place at 16.7 percent.
The pattern was largely consistent from country to country. Apple gained share in the UK and had a surge in France, where its raw shipments were up 6.4 points to hit 5.8 percent and put it in the top five for the first time. Samsung was one of the few others to see an upside in any area but only registered in the top five in France.
Most of the shift was blamed directly on tablets, a category still dominated by the iPad. Their popularity hurt computer sales and saw some retailers set aside space fully anticipating more attention for Apple and other tablet supporters.
Netbooks suffered the brunt of the hit, Gartner noted: in each country, the cheap mini portables saw shipments in many cases cut almost in half as customers abandoned the category, primarily in favor of iPads. ASUS, which like Acer clung too closely to netbooks for its business, saw its total PC deliveries fall at least 20 percent in core areas.
The new tallies point to the gap between Apple's performance and competitors being even more pronounced in Europe than in the US and worldwide. IDC figures still show companies like Lenovo and Toshiba finding room to grow when they can tap into China or into the US mindset.
Gartner didn't attempt to explain Apple's climb. Most have attributed it to a strong grasp of the retail market, even outside of its own stores. Its emphasis on higher-end PCs has also helped it escape both most cannibalization by its own tablets as well as the lack of meaningful differences between low-end notebooks and netbooks.