updated 09:35 am EST, Tue February 7, 2012
Garnter paints bleak picture for Windows in Europe
New Gartner data breaking down European computer market share has shown poor results for almost every computer builder outside of Apple. Continent-wide, both market leader HP as well as Acer, Dell, and Toshiba were all dropping market share. Only ASUS (up 1.5 points) increased share based solely on its own merits among the top five; Lenovo's gain was inflated by its acquiring Medion last June.
While not in the top five for all of Europe, Apple was visibly cutting into others' share on a country-by-country basis. The Mac designer overtook Acer in dramatic fashion, jumping from 6.2 percent to 9.1 percent in one year. Acer, meanwhile, had shipped nearly two thirds' fewer PCs and collapsed from 16.7 percent to 7.8 percent of the British market. Apple was now within striking distance of Toshiba's 10 percent.
A similar pattern emerged in France, where Apple established itself in the top five at 8.2 percent and only second-place ASUS was making inroads. Apple was again out of the top five in Germany, but the space was unusual as Dell made a rare gain to take fifth place. Even Lenovo, which was supposed to be taking advantage of Medion's home market, lost a slight amount of share.
Overall, the entire European computer market dropped 16 percent, with its highlight being the still-grim 8.2 percent decline in Germany and the UK's 19.6 percent being its worst in five years.
The analysis made a consistent point of blaming both ongoing economic troubles as well as tablets, led by the iPad, for triggering the widespread drops. Having ultrabooks at the end of the year gave Windows PC builders a "desperately needed" injection, research head Ranjit Atwal said, but hadn't come in time. Smartphones and e-readers were also likely affecting rivals.
Such declines help explain continued Windows revenue losses beyond what Microsoft was willing to state. While attributing it to a mix of ecnoomics nad newer form factors, the European data show just how much the decline was attributed to falling PC sales and the possible conversion of many buyers to the iPad and, to a lessser extent, Android.