In the first quarter of this year, the French PC market achieved a healthy 23.1 per cent growth, compared with the same period last year.
As predicted at the end of 1998, France's traditionally strong PC demand was fuelled even further in the first quarter of 1999 by partnerships between ISPs, assemblers and retail chains. This enabled PCs to be sold cheaply and was also the case throughout the rest of Europe.
But cheap PC prices inevitably meant that the revenue generation in France was lower than previously expected.
With declining prices putting pressure not only on PC vendors, but also on distributors and resellers, French resellers are beginning to increasingly favour the less well known brands.
This enables them to put their own, value-added services on, - compensating for low margins.
The German market continued the steady growth achieved at the end of 1998 and was able to reach a growth rate of 20.6 per cent, compared with the same period last year.
While sales were mainly driven by the business sector in the second half of 1998, the effect seemed to slow down at the beginning of 1999 when euro implementation and the year 2000 effect led to some significant IT investment.
But PC sales were high in the consumer market, and, as in other countries, falling prices also fuelled shipments in the corporate sector. The fact that leading brand manufacturers have reached price points of traditionally cheap German manufacturers, has also led to high growth rates for the top vendors at the expense of smaller local ones in the first quarter of 1999.
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