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By | Paul Kunert 26th July 2011 11:28

PC mountain accumulates in Blighty

Biz-crushing computer avalanches feared

PC vendors' shipments into the UK channel slid by more than a fifth in Q2 as distributors wrestled with high inventory levels, particularly on Acer.

Sales into wholesalers fell 22 per cent year-on-year to 2.23 million units, according to IDC data with declines seen across all market segments.

"The channel thinks it will take at least until the end of the third quarter to clean up inventory," said IDC research manager Eszter Morvay.

Yet again, consumer sales-in was impacted most acutely by the glut of stock, as desktop and portable shipments fell 33 and 30 per cent respectively, while the professional desktop space went down 15 per and notebooks dipped 5 per cent.

"Clearly the UK economy was faring much worse than other larger markets in Europe," said the analyst. "Micro enterprises are still struggling and obviously consumers and the public sector are badly impacted".

What a difference a year made for Taiwanese vendor Acer, which saw its sales into distribution collapse by 55 per cent in Q2, pushing it down to third in the UK rankings with 13 per cent market share compared to 22 per cent 12 months earlier.

"Acer inventory has been piling up but it only started dealing with it two months ago," said Morvay, "and for the future, Acer has pissed off channel partners in several countries that think they will be more wary of working with it."

Consolidating the portfolio would help Acer but distributors want to see all vendors ship more kit by air as it builds greater flexibility into the supply chain, said IDC but vendors are "strongly opposed" to this as it would significantly raise costs.

HP maintained the top spot in the UK, with 24 per cent market share as sales fell 10 per cent, slower than the market average. Dell came in next with a 12 per cent drop in shipments, pushing up its share to 19 per cent. ®

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