UK business PC sales plummet as CIOs cut back

The UK PC market saw its worst decline in five years in the last quarter of 2011, according to data from Gartner.

The decline in sales illustrates the impact of the downturn on PC makers. With IT budgets in decline, CIOs have put off upgrading PCs and migration to Windows 7, said Gartner.

"Uptake of professional PCs for migrations to Windows 7 remained subdued due to the troubled economic outlook," said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.

“PC shipments in the professional segment declined 13.5% in the fourth quarter of 2011.”

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the UK PC market was affected by the economic upheaval and the growing popularity of smartphones, media tablets and e-readers. As Computer Weekly reported, IT departments are considering the BYOD (bring your own device) craze as a way to offload part of their business PC procurement.

The professional market was also weak as austerity measures hit the education segment, according to Gartner. The analyst noted that netbook shipments declined more than 50% in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The decline suggests the netbook is finally indicating the final stage in a shift by PC makers. "PC vendors face a long, uphill struggle to regain the interest of consumers. The introduction of ultrabooks in late 2011 is desperately needed," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

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