According to the latest data published by research firm Gartner, Mac sales in Europe are driving PC sales into retreat like never before. The freshly published report indicates that PC sales across the continent tanked during Q4 of 2011.
Just how low did they go?
Apple's Mac sales were so strong that Gartner is largely crediting Apple with reducing PC sales in the U.K. by almost 20 percent year-over-year in the holiday quarter. PCs didn't look much better in France, where PC sales similarly tumbled close to 12 percent.
How did Mac sales look in comparison? In both the U.K. and France, double-digit market gains year-over-year were recorded. In Great Britain, Mac sales gained 17.2 percent over Q4 of 2010. Gartner says Apple was the only vendor among the biggest computer makers (top five) to actually see a year-over-year sales increase.
The PC market in Western Europe has suffered four consecutive quarters of shipment decline. "Despite aggressive pricing and special holiday deals for PCs, consumers' attention was caught by other devices, such as smartphones, media tablets and e-readers," said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner. "Even though we saw a drop in prices, consumer PC shipments could not match the levels of previous years."
"Overall," says one analyst for Gartner, "we expect the PC market to remain under pressure in the first half of 2012, and although shortages of hard-disk drives had only a limited impact in the fourth quarter of 2011, we expect substantial increases in average selling prices in the first quarter of 2012."