ENTERPRISE VENDOR HP has managed to retain first place in the shrinking PC market, claiming 22.1 percent of sales in the fourth quarter of 2013.
According to the latest Gartner figures, the Western European PC market contracted a further 4.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2013, with year on year sales in the UK dropping 6.7 percent.
"Shipments for traditional PCs (desktops and mobile PCs) in 2013 decreased 14 percent, but the rate of unit decline is moderate across geographies - which could indicate that the impact of tablets cannibalizing PC sales in mature markets is fading," said Gartner principal research analyst Meike Escherich.
"Additionally, large numbers of professional PCs running on Windows XP remained in use, and the corporate market has been increasing its PC replacement - making up for a weak consumer PC market."
Gartner's figures include Windows 8.x powered tablets and hybrids, but exclude Chromebooks that have bucked the general decline in sales due to their lower prices.
In the battle of the manufacturers Lenovo and Asus along with HP strengthened their market positions while Samsung and Toshiba weakened. In the UK, HP remained in first place with a 22.1 percent slice of the market, with Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba and Apple making up the top five.
"Holiday sales in Western Europe were primarily dominated by tablets and mobile devices," said Ms Escherich. "However, hybrid devices and lower cost notebooks could spur growth in 2014."
Gartner suggested that although PC sales will never recover to previous levels, they will stabilise at lower levels fuelled by low cost ultrabooks and other mini PCs running alternative operating systems. µ