Big-name companies continue to struggle as financial crisis tightens hold
The release of Windows 8 could be make or break for computer manufacturers as sales continue to fall.
In the UK sales of computers were down 7.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year.
Dell in particular suffered, with its consumer business in the UK shrinking by nearly 40 per cent in the space of a year. Other established names such as Acer and HP saw their market share shrink by 14 and 12 per cent respectively.
Research company Gartner, which released the figures, said the UK PC market "remained very weak".
Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said that many companies were now pinning their hopes on the end of 2012, when demand for computers tends to increase.
"The real worry for the UK PC market is whether it will ever return to solid growth," he said. "Windows 8 and Ultrabooks now look even more important."
The downward trend is one that is being repeated throughout Western Europe. Across the whole region sales of both desktop and laptop PCs were down 2.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2012.
"Consumer spending on PCs has been stalled by the on-going economic uncertainty," said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner. Mr Escherich said that leftover stock could trigger "significant" price cuts in September.
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