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Portables drive growth in PC sales

Paul Kunert

IDC has predicted an upturn in UK PC sales on the back of sustained growth in consumer netbook purchases, but the relatively low price of these devices will drag down the market's overall value.

In a year characterised by plummeting shipments, the analyst expects total sales to fall by 3.3% in 2009, compared to a decline of 4.2% predicted in May.

"The slight improvement is due to the continued growth in portables," said Eszter Morvay, IDC research manager, adding that mobile PCs in retail are set to rise 21%, up from the 16% it previously stated.

Unit sales of commercial and consumer desktops are expected to drop 22% and 15% respectively, while commercial notebooks are touted to decline 13%.

"Businesses are still struggling to get credit and budgets have been frozen, a lot of companies have postponed renewals of machines," she said.

Last year, the consumer mobile segment grew 60%, so growth levels are less than half of what they were.

Perhaps of more concern is that IDC expects mainstream notebooks sales to be flat this year on 2008 as the netbook takes centre stage, with growth of 113% expected.

This will significantly impact the overall value of the UK market, which is forecast to drop 18% to £5.8bn. Split by category, desktop and notebook revenues are forecast to fall 25% and 15% respectively on last year.

Average sales prices are expected to drop 7% on desk-based PCs and 19% on portables.

A version of this story originally appeared on MicroScope.co.uk.


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