Gartner ( says that computer shipments in western Europe declined 2.4% in the second quarter of 2012 over the same period in 2011. In the U.K. market, Apple increased market share.

“Although we saw a slight uptake in mobile PC sales, the Western Europe PC market recorded weak overall PC shipments across all countries,” says Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.

In Western Europe, mobile shipments grew 4%, while desk-based computer shipments declined 12.8% in the second quarter of 2012. The professional computer market declined 5.3%, while the consumer market was almost flat, with 0.4% growth. 

Despite losing market share, HP retained the No. 1 position in the Western Europe computer market in the second quarter of 2012. Acer increased its market share by 2.7 percentage points, which helped it retain the No. 2 spot.

In the second quarter of 2012 the U.K. computer shipments totaled 2.5 million units, a decline of 7.6% compared with the equivalent period in 2011

“The U.K. PC market remained very weak in the second quarter of 2012. It was depressed across the board, with both the consumer and professional sectors exhibiting decline,” says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

In the second quarter of 2012, Dell suffered the biggest fall (23.2%), with its consumer business recording a decline of nearly 40%. HP retained the No. 1 position, but still held less than 20% of the U.K. market. Acer, which declined last year due to inventory issues, continued to lose market share. Toshiba exhibited the highest growth, albeit following a very weak second quarter of 2011.

Apple made strong strides in the U.K. market with 7.4% market share in the second quarter of 2012. That compares to 6.2% market share in the second quarter of 2011.