Sales of desktop PCs in Europe’s top eight economies recovered during April after five consecutive months of decline, according to the latest figures from market watcher Context.
The analyst’s SalesWatch research, covering the UK, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland, revealed that sales were up 0.9 per cent compared with April 2004. However, business sales were down 3.5 per cent, while the consumer market balanced the trend with a 7.2 per cent rise.
Jason Harcourt, senior analyst at Context, said: “We’ve had five straight months of year-on-year decline of sales of desktop PCs. Although there was a slight recovery in April, I predict that sales for the whole year will be down on last year’s figures.”
“In the UK, April sales were up one per cent, with a business sales increase of 2.7 per cent. Consumer sales were down 0.6 per cent. I think this is significant of a good month for business sales in the UK,” added Harcourt.
“The price of notebooks has come down considerably and the technology is on a par with PCs. Notebooks are taking over desktop PCs,” he said.
Leanne Gravil, branch manager at VAR CBC Computer Systems, said: “We have noticed a decline in desktop PCs. In the past five months there has been no growth at all.
“We have definitely seen an increase in laptops in the past 18 months. We deal a lot with schools and they are definitely moving more towards laptops, primarily for security. Other than call centres, I can’t see many businesses needing to use desktop PCs instead of laptops,” said Gravil.
Shaune Parsons, managing director of VAR Computer World Wales, added: “April was a better month for us for desktop PCs. The main reason is because the public sector has realised it doesn’t have to spend all its budget in the first quarter of the year. Generally, the market is pretty quiet at the moment, which is unusual because it normally quietens down in August/September.
“Notebooks are a lot more popular these days because they are more flexible and just as powerful as a PC. We’re still selling desktop PCs to schools and some corporates, but notebooks are definitely taking over,” Parsons added.
Context’s research backs up findings by fellow analyst IDC, which earlier this year revealed that the EMEA market enjoyed stronger sales than anticipated in Q1 2005 due to strong consumer demand.
At the time, Karine Paoli, research director at IDC’s Personal Computing Group, said: “While business demand remained sustained, assisted by ongoing corporate renewals and SME purchases, the market displayed healthy trends on the consumer side, which boosted growth in EMEA to slightly higher levels than anticipated.”
Gartner also attributed PC market growth in Europe after ‘flaccid’ demand in the US. The firm revealed that global PC shipments totalled 50.4m units in the first quarter of 2005, up from 45.7m in the same period in 2004.
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