'Back-to-school' demand for technology kicked in and boosted the UK PC market in the third quarter, according to the latest figures from analyst IDC.
PC shipments rose by 18.3 per cent in Q3, the sixth quarter in a row with double-digit growth. Volumes tipped 2.1 million units, with strong sales across the home, business and education sectors.
New purchases by students going to university and PCs bought by families for educational purposes at home combined with standard consumer demand trends to fuel growth in the UK PC market, IDC found.
Notebooks were still the strongest segment of the market, with Q3 sales growing by 23.2 per cent, driven mainly by SME and consumer demand. The desktop market continued to benefit from healthy corporate refresh cycles, growing by 15.7 per cent year on year.
Stability in component supply, as well as intense price competition, helped fuel growth.
"The component shortages experienced a few quarters ago have almost completely reversed, with healthy supplies in Q3 alleviating the pressure on vendor profit margins.
"Average selling price decline has continued to stimulate demand, however, and the marketplace remains as competitive as ever," said Ian Gibbs, senior research analyst at IDC's European personal computing team.
Stuart Green, strategy director at system builder Centerprise UK, agreed that Q3 had been a good quarter. "We certainly saw a boost in September and figures were better than expected," he said.
"After a quiet summer this was good news, and we are hoping that the Christmas season will hold up well too. Notebook sales continued to thrive overall, and education schemes such as Laptops for Teachers are still going strong. There is good cause for optimism."
Commercial demand remained strong in Q3, IDC said. Competition was "fierce" between vendors trying to secure the business of large companies still needing to upgrade to Windows XP and refresh their ageing PC infrastructures.
Commercial desktop shipments rose by 19.7 per cent year on year. For the second quarter running the commercial PC sector has grown faster than the commercial notebook market.
Dell kept its number one position in the UK for the third quarter in a row with a 25.2 per cent market share and year-on-year growth of 38.1 per cent.
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