The twin pressures of the recession and global warming fears are creating a mini boom in the system builder and components sector, according to Hypertec, which makes PC upgrade components.
Hypertec managing director Lianne Denness welcomed the idea that doom-mongers are accentuating the downside of the economy.
“The moaners who are talking us into a recession are actually doing us a favour,” said Denness. “In hard times, people do not want to junk their equipment so readily. They want to upgrade it. Which is great if you happen to be a distributor or reseller offering memory, hard disks or processing power.”
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive is even better news, she said. “Even if firms wanted to buy new PCs, getting rid of an old one is an expensive hassle. If people are not upgrading, they are using the existing PC and going thin client,” she said.
Most business users are happy provided they have a new screen to look at, she argued. “Give them a nice looking terminal and they are away.”
In the mid to long term, however, Microsoft Vista rollouts will create another sort of boom, Denness predicted. “This will create demand for more memory, bigger hard disks and better graphics cards.”
In response, Hypertec announced a new range of next-generation DDR memory technology the range will be product number-specific and marketed under the DDR3 banner.
Denness predicted that memory gadgets, such as mobile phone cards and USB sticks, could be the next boom market for the channel.
“We are adding value to cards, pre-loading content that can be viewed conveniently. We have some big deals in the pipeline. Resellers could be doing the same.”
Jeremy Davies, research director at Context Research, confirmed this. “The USB memory sector saw a remarkable increase in market share in four gigabyte and eight gigabyte capacity devices between November 2007 and February 2008,” he said.
But according to recent Context figures, the share of 4GB went up to 27 per cent in February, compared to 17 per cent in January and 12 per cent in November. As memory capacity increases, the price is plummeting. The average price of USB memory sticks has dropped by 29 per cent between June 2007 and February 2008.
“You have to add value to these products or they are a commodity,” said Denness.
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