As the UK’s school term resumes, PC makers are entering their most crucial period of business, market analyst iSuppli has claimed.
According to iSuppli’s latest report, Kids Go Back to School; PC Makers Go Back to the Bank, third-quarter PC unit shipments have risen sequentially by an average of eight per cent over the past five years.
However, iSuppli’s principal analyst, Matthew Wilkins, has questioned whether the economic downturn means PC builders will fail to maintain the critical momentum needed for the back-to-school season.
“For years the PC industry has counted on back-to-school demand to drive annual growth,” he said. But woe betide the complacent vendor. “Concerns have arisen over the resilience of this market.”
PC shipments hung tough in the first quarter, exceeded expectations in the second and the omens are good for July through to September, he said. Notebooks have graduated to must-have status for students and parents. But the back-to-school bounce cannot be relied on forever.
Notebooks tend to be commodity items made by foreign companies with cheaper labour costs, whereas UK system builders tend to thrive in markets such as education and the public sector, where local support is needed from a vendor.
This is where Harrow-based PC builder Akhter exemplifies the benefit of a creative approach. It has created a PC that can achieve high processing speeds of 3GHz, but can run the machine on 55watts less power than a light bulb.
Normally, an Intel Core2 Duo processor capable of 3.0 GHz would be very power hungry, explained Geoff Pick, Akhter’s marketing manager.
But the company’s director, Humayoun Mughal, devised his own invention for making PC components more power efficient.
The product, the LoCO2PC, has achieved Energy Star rating of 4.0, “which is remarkable given how difficult it is for single unit machines to compete”, said Pick. “This is a great product for the schools and government market.”
The financial economies could bring about a demonstrable return on investment, he argued.
“Companies could save between £80 and £250 on reduced electricity bills over the course of a year.”
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