A strong growth in laptop sales, encouraged by falling prices, is keeping UK PC sales buoyant, new figures from industry analyst IDC show.
The first quarter figures from IDC’s quarterly tracker survey show a modest 3.5% growth in PC shipments, dragged down by slowing desktop PC sales and limited PC replacement by businesses.
But the survey revealed that falling prices in the laptop market have boosted sales by more than 20%.
Michael Larner, a senior research analyst in IDC's European personal computing group, said, “Falling notebook prices with offerings at as low as £399 including VAT resulting from fierce vendor competition across all channels propelled consumer notebook shipments by 29.4% in 1Q, and consumer demand for notebook is expected to grow unabated in 2006.”
Small and medium businesses were increasingly replacing desktop machines with notebooks, while the use of laptops would become more widespread in the corporate sector, boosted by new wireless offerings, IDC predicted.
Desktop PC sales were expected to remain slow, with limited corporate replacement activity, while delays to Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system was also set to hit consumer PC sales this year.
Dell continued to lead the UK PC market with 11% year-on-year growth, while Hewlett-Packard recorded a 20% growth in the first quarter, driven by a strong performance in the consumer laptop market.