Sales of PCs through the channel in Europe's top economies saw an increase in January as business sales soared amid falling consumer buying, according to the latest findings from market research firm Context.
The research found sales of PCs through distribution rose by six per cent in Germany, France and the UK. This increase was driven by resellers selling into the SME market.
Jeremy Davies, senior partner at Context, said consumer sales are slipping as industry sales rise. In the final quarter of 2003, 40 per cent of PC sales went through consumer retail outlets, compared with 56 per cent in Q4 a year ago.
Despite this, the findings are good news for the entire European PC industry, he said.
Davies claimed the love affair between consumers and the retail PC industry is over, as households that already own PCs move to buy products such as DVDs and free-standing games machines instead.
But he added that reseller sales are picking up, with channel strategies paying off for vendors and corporates ready to renew desktops.
"When sales declined in the corporate sector, vendors started to focus on the SME, and to this end developed channel strategies that are now beginning to pay off," Davies said.
Portable PC sales contributed strongly to the market growth in January.
"Notebook demand has taken off in the SME sector, and the corporate desktop renewal cycle has started," Davies said.
Des Lekerman, managing director of VAR Eurodata Systems, which recently bolstered its PC and server offering through a deal with Fujitsu Siemens Computers, confirmed that corporates are now renewing PCs and servers.
"The refresh cycle for servers and PCs is coming back because corporates are now upgrading their operating systems and networks," Lekerman said.
"They will need new hardware systems to support this. Server consolidation is also increasing demand."
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business