This is a good time to be a channel player in the high-end desktop PC market, according to an industry analyst.
Even though the overall global PC market continues to struggle, segments - including the high-end and gamer desktop PC area - are doing well. And in the PC market, it's the desktop side that holds the most promise for channel partners, said Bob O'Donnell, principal analyst with TECHnalysis Research.
Most people will buy notebooks and laptops from big names such as HP Inc., Lenovo and Dell at big stores like Best Buy and Staples.
However, it's the high end of the desktop market where enthusiasts like to build their own systems and where businesses will buy custom-built white box systems from companies like Falcon Northwest, he said.
In addition, while not a huge market, some companies, many in the SMB space, will still buy PCs from local companies, O'Donnell said. The desktop PC segment "is really the place of action for the channel", he said.
Gamers and enthusiasts will build their own systems with components - including CPUs from Intel and AMD - bought through the channel, O'Donnell said. Some organisations looking for customised and specialised white box systems also will turn to the channel.
Others will look to their local computer stores for desktops, he said.
"They're not running out to buy an HP at Best Buy," O'Donnell said. "They go to the local guy… Small businesses want to work with their local PC partners."
Those local companies can help organisations optimise the systems for their businesses, from choosing the right CPU and motherboard to configuring the memory, he said.
Add in a reinvigorated AMD emerging as a legitimate rival to Intel - which has dominated the PC chip market for years - and the channel has a lot to choose from, O'Donnell said.
O'Donnell added that for the channel, this competition and the innovation that will result will prove beneficial.
"Anything that can spark interest in high-performance desktops and gives [users] the ability to upgrade…gets people fired up and going," he said.
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