UK PC sales into the channel grew slightly in Q1, indicating that distributors have finally shifted the ageing inventory lingering from early 2011.
More than three million units were shipped in the first three months of 2012, up 2.4 per cent on the same period a year ago, according to final numbers from bean counter Gartner.
"After a decline of 16 per cent in 2011, the UK PC market showed stability in terms of shipment volume," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
Thanks to an interest in all-in-one systems, desktop sales into distribution were up 7.2 per cent, but mobile PC shipments fell 0.3 per cent.
The consumer sector returned to unit growth, albeit marginal, up 1.6 per cent in the quarter, and sales of desktops and notebooks to the professional market edged up 3.2 per cent.
However, Atwal said: "It remains to be seen if this is a sign of real demand or just inventory refreshment."
Market goliath HP stretched its lead in the UK despite growing sales by just 1.6 per cent and nudging its market share up by 0.1 per cent to 21.4 per cent.
This is because second-placed Dell saw its shipments slide 7.7 per cent as did third-placed Acer with sales dropping 35 per cent and market share diving from 15.3 per cent a year ago to 9.7 per cent.
The only two vendors to post meaningful growth in the quarter were Toshiba, up 26.7 per cent and behind it in fifth, Lenovo, which posted a 59.5 per cent climb in shipments.
"Lenovo was the major winner," said Atwal, "expansion of its Medion offerings enabled it to increase its share in the consumer PC market."
The other major European PC markets had mixed fortunes with France declining 3.9 per cent to 2.7 million units and Germany up 7.1 per cent to 3.27 million units. ®