PC shipments to Western Europe dropped to 12.7 million units in the second quarter of 2011, from 15.6 million units in the same period last year – a decline of 18.9 per cent.
This is according to a report from research firm Gartner, which also found that shipments of desktop PCs dropped 15.4 per cent and shipments of PCs in the professional segment declined nine per cent in the second quarter.
Shipments of mobile PCs saw a 20.4 per cent year-on-year decline, while shipments of mini notebooks decreased by a whopping 53 per cent.
"The PC market in Western Europe suffered from weak demand in both the professional and consumer sectors, a market which also faced inventory issues caused by overstocking in 2010," said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.
"The biggest decline continued to come from the consumer segment, which decreased 27 per cent year-on-year."
During the first quarter of 2011, Acer lost its number one position to HP, due to inventory adjustments and a decrease in mini notebook sales, while Dell remained in third position.
Rolf von Roessing, a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association's (ISACA) Security Management Committee, said that although he thought fewer users would be reliant on PCs in the future there would continue to be a market for them.
"Admittedly, consumer sales are decreasing. Major brand vendors and OEMs have anticipated this, given the higher market penetration of iPads, smartphones and other devices that are more intuitive and user-friendly," he said.
"For about 70 per cent of users, non-PC devices are certainly good enough to use for simple tasks.
"The remaining 30 per cent may use multiple devices, but they will have at least one rather powerful PC at home or at the office to do the heavy lifting."