IDC has confirmed sales of PCs to distributors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa tumbled in Q3 as all the major players bought stock conservatively ahead of the launch of Windows 8.
The beancounter noted "weak sell-in levels" in July and August forced a 7.7 per cent slide in shipments across EMEA and a 12.8 per cent decline in Western Europe for the quarter.
More ReadingBad news: PC slump worse than feared. Good news: It's FridayCan supermodel minx Heidi Klum SAVE Windows 8? NOT SO FASTVaunted Windows 8 RTM updates 'actually featured from Win2000'Windows 8: Is Microsoft's new OS too odd to handle?BYOD for our own staff? That would be 'embarrassing' – HP exec
"Continued softness in consumer demand prompted both vendors and channel partners not to overstock and ensure lean inventory levels ahead of the Windows 8 transition," said IDC.
Sales into the channel in September picked up strongly – underpinned by the manufacture of Win 8 systems due to hit the street after the launch date on 25 October.
"However, continued economic pressure in the business segment and competition from other devices in the consumer space kept the supply chain and channel cautious on new orders," IDC said.
France and the UK fared better than most in the region. IDC didn't explain why but in the first half of this year, distributors in Blighty ordered conservatively after getting stung in 2011.
The vendor line-up offered few surprises, with Lenovo yet again the only one of the top five to post shipments gains, up 26.5 per cent taking it into third place in the EMEA region, leaping Asus – now at number four.
Market leader HP, which either did or didn't lose its worldwide top spot recently – depending on which analyst you believe – saw sales decline 16 per cent, taking market share from nearly 20 per cent a year ago to 18.1 per cent.
Shipments from second-placed Acer fell slower than the market average at 3.2 per cent, but it too lost six points of market share, standing at 12 per cent.
Asus and Dell declined 3.8 per cent and 14.1 per cent respectively to hold 10 and 9 per cent market share respectively. ®