By Paul Kunert
The gradual recovery in the UK PC arena has clearly bypassed the one-time market dominator Dell as sales across all segments collapsed in the second quarter.
Overall, more than 2.8 million units were shipped in the three months, up 15% on a year ago but seasonally down 12% on a sequential basis, Gartner data has revealed.
However, the Texan PC monster which once accounted for nearly one in four PCs sold to UK businesses and consumers, saw sales decline 22.5% as its market share fell to 16%.
"There is nowhere Dell can hide as it suffered on all fronts" said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
Dell sales to consumers dropped a whopping 27% while the market grew by an average of 23% and in its heartland, the professional space, sales fell 19% compared to a 5% rise across the rest of the UK industry.
Given the overall market's performance, Dell's performance was a "sign that something in the execution was fundamentally wrong", he added.
The UK is of vital importance to Dell as it represents more than one fifth of its total sales in Europe, so this development will not help to heal other recent scars caused by an embarrassing accounting debacle and its integral role in Intel's rebate scandal.
The only other under achiever in the UK was Toshiba which grew below the market average at 6.1%, while the rest of the major vendors achieved double digit shipment growth.
Boringly consistent Acer continued to expand with a 36.4% rise in volumes giving it a leading market share of 22.4%, followed by HP which rebounded in Q2 as sales climbed 37.9% to push its slice of the market to 20.5%, ahead of Dell.
Other Asian PC giant giants also weighed in heavily with large sales increases, including Lenovo and Sony up 85% and 82% respectively, off the "back of very weak 2009 sales when the numbers collapsed", said Atwal at Gartner.
The UK market grew across all the major form factors and segments; consumer desktops and notebooks were up 17% and 25% respectively, while business desk-based PCs and portables grew 7% and 4%.
Growth was still slower than in Germany and France where sales have rebounded more aggressively, but Atwal said businesses were continuing to hold off refreshes for as long as was economically viable.
A new wave of uncertainty in the economy, fuelled by the austerity measures and public sector jobs cuts, could also be seen in the more muted consumer figures and Gartner warned UK retailers that members of the public could be re-evaluating spending priorities for the second half of the year.