With business demand decimated, PC VARs face a tough start to 2010 as economic uncertainty and the upcoming general election continue to affect sales.
Preliminary figures published by IDC last week revealed that 3.78 million units were shipped in the UK during 2009's final quarter. This represents a year-on-year drop of 1.7 per cent, well short of the three per cent growth IDC had projected.
The consumer market performed solidly, with shipments of notebooks and desktops rising annually by 16.5 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively. However, the commercial sector continued to take a battering, with desktop shipments tumbling by a fifth, while notebooks endured a 22 per cent annual slump.
IDC research manager Eszter Morvay claimed demand in the business world was likely to remain muted for the year's opening half. She added that the imminence of the election could be a key barrier to IT spending.
"Businesses are probably going to remain very cautious in the first six months of the year," she said. "Everybody has a wait-and-see attitude (as to) what the new government and new regulations might bring. The first six months will be tough, but we will see some level of rebound."
"People never embrace a new operating system immediately," he said. "Windows 7 will be adopted quite quickly, I am fairly positive about that, but we all know the public sector follows the private sector."
Aron added that the opaque economic outlook would continue to hamper demand.
"People will hold back because of the state of the economy," he said. "They do not know which way the markets are going to go in the wake of the election."
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