The Swedish channel is reeling from the newly-elected government’s decision to scale back the country’s thriving home PC programme.
Local VARs have seen sales plummet since the hike in taxes levied on employers and employees using the scheme took hold on 1 January.
The news will have a familiar ring to UK resellers rocked by the Home Computing Initiative’s abrupt end last March.
According to market-watcher IDC, the Swedish programme was worth about SKr4bn (£300m) in 2006, equating to almost a full third of the total PC market.
Jo Lunder, chief executive at Ementor – which is the Nordics’ dominant corporate reseller – told CRN it had lost SKr100m (£7.5m) in potential sales during the first quarter.
“Overall we believe the changes will cost us SKr600m (£45m) in 2007, and our sales through the scheme will be down 30 to 40 per cent,” he admitted. “I think this is the wrong move for governments in the UK and Sweden, because having a PC in every home is a good goal.”
Nils Molin, managing director at IDC Sweden, said that employers now had little to gain from using the programme to drive up PC penetration among staff.
However, Molin said: “The programme no longer serves a purpose. When it was introduced in the late 1990s, PC literacy increased rapidly. It’s now time the government subsidised something else.”
Sweden boasts 67 PCs per 100 of the population, according to the European Information Technology Observatory, a proportion only topped by Switzerland in Europe.
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