Gartner figures reveal weak festive PC demand

But HP is still top dog

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Gartner has released its quarterly look at the worldwide PC market, reporting that the consumer demand for desktop and laptop computers was weak for the Christmas season in 2011.

Shipments of PCs and laptops (but not tablets) were down 1.4 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, which Gartner reckons is down partly to tightened belts but mostly to growing apathy among consumers.

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said, "Continuously low consumer PC demand resulted in weak holiday PC shipments.

"While economic uncertainty in Western Europe had an effect on consumer PC shipments, expectations of a healthier economic outlook in North America could not stimulate consumer PC demand in that region."

Ultradisappointing

Even Ultrabooks, with their exciting hyperbole-filled moniker, couldn't get us to part with our cash in late 2011, although Kitagawa concedes that Joe Public had "very little understanding and awareness of Ultrabooks" and that CES 2012 could change all that.

And if you're at all interested in ranking companies based on sales, then you'll want to know that HP has managed to cling on to the top spot despite its CEO swapping shenanigans and threats to pull out of PCs altogether.

However, the company has lost market share compared to Q4 2010, as have Lenovo (second place) and Acer (fourth place), but Dell (third) and Asus (fifth) have both grown over the course of the year.