Safety regulations imposed by the European Commission (EC) and the growth in the services market are forcing resellers out of the UK assembly market.
Max Hotopf, editor of PC Assemblers in Europe, The Top 300, said electromagnetic compatibility regulations brought in by the EC in 1996 were deterring many resellers from assembling PCs.
He said: ?Testing a PC costs quite a lot of money. You don?t have to test every PC, but every PC has to have a CE mark. If they regulators catch up with you and you don?t have one, it costs you a fortune.
?The number of people assembling their own PCs in the UK has fallen dramatically since the ruling.?
The report suggested that the large A-brand manufacturers ? IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard and Siemens Nixdorf ? the big US direct vendors and companies such as Acer, Fujitsu and Metro are winning in the assembly market across northern Europe.
Vertically integrated assembler/retailers such as Vobis, and large assembler/distributors such as Frank & Walter are losing assembly market share.
But Hotopf claimed that dealer/assemblers in southern Europe were flourishing thanks to poor logistics and distribution in the region.
?It can take well over a month to get an A-brand PC in Portugal or Italy,? he said. ?Here, dealer assembly is increasing.?
Compaq topped the list of European PC assemblers, showing a 19.6 per cent rise in sales. Apple experienced the biggest drop in units shifted with a 116 per cent fall.
IBM showed a 31.2 per cent increase while Dell jumped 64 per cent.
Frank & Walter shifted 135,000 units, equivalent to a 13 per cent drop, and Vobis shifted 550,000 units, a fall of 3.5 per cent.
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