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Apple sales up in Europe, despite overall PC slide

PC sales in Europe are dismal, according to a Gartner report that was highlighted in an early morning post on Gigaom. In fact, PC sales in the Western Europe market dropped 11.4 percent year-to-year to only 14.8 million units. That sounds like a cause for despair if you're a PC maker, but not if you're Apple.

Apple's sales in the same quarter actually rose by almost 20 percent year-to-year, bucking the trend that other PC manufacturers are seeing. Taiwanese PC manufacturer Acer was particularly hard hit by the slide in PC sales, seeing a year-to-year drop in sales of over 45 percent for the third quarter of 2011. Much of that drop is attributable to a lack of demand for netbooks -- possibly due to the increased mindshare of tablets -- and inventory issues.

The Gartner report, written by analyst Meike Escherich, notes that arch-rivals Apple and Samsung stand to improve their respective positions in the Western European market in the future. According to Escherich, "With brand becoming more important as buying criterion in the PC market both of these vendors have a strong PC and cross device proposition. This will enable them to tackle the top three even more in 2012."

In this horrible economy, it looks like it's a good time to be Apple.