LONDON: Desktop and mobile PC shipments declined almost 20% in the three largest markets of Western Europe over the second quarter of 2013 with France registering the steepest fall, according to a new survey.

There were shipments of 10.9m units in the region compared with 13.6m in the same period last year, a fall of 19.8%, reported Gartner, the technology research firm.

Shipments in France decreased 19.1% to 2m units, they fell 18.7% to 2.1m in Germany and 13% to 2.2m in the UK, where the mobile PC market has lost 25% of its volume since 2010.

The analysis, which did not include media tablets, found HP, the US multinational, had the highest market share of 20.8%, although it suffered a 17.4% decline in shipments.

Acer of Taiwan was still the second largest player in the market, but recorded the worst performance with a decline of 44.7% in the quarter. Asus, the other major Taiwanese PC company, declined 41.7%.

However, Lenovo recorded a sharp rise of 18.9%, making the Chinese multinational the third largest brand in the market, closely followed by Dell of the US.

Meike Escherich, Gartner's principal research analyst, attributed the declines to the market exit of the netbook PC and vendors reducing their inventory to get the new Intel chips and Windows 8.1.

She said consumers could expect to see these "attractive new PCs" in the shops by the fourth quarter of 2013 which will be able to compete with high-end tablets.

A new generation of Atom-based devices will also compete with low-end tablets, she added, which will create opportunities in the mid to high-end PC market.

Her colleague and fellow analyst, Isabelle Durand, said she expected the market in France to remain weak in the next quarter despite the introduction of Atom-based tablets and Haswell-based devices.

But "these new devices ought to attract users' attention and bring new growth opportunities to the PC market in France," she said.

Data sourced from Gartner; additional content by Warc staff