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PC sales continue to rise

The number of PCs sold in Western Europe rose by 9% in the second half of this year, according to a Gartner Group study, with 11.2 million units big sold.

In the second quarter of 2007, sales increased by 9.3% on the same period in 2006. The demand for mobile PCs remained the major driver of sales, and this trend confirmed the changing status of the consumer mobile PC from a "nice-to-have" device to a "must-have device", said the study.

In the UK, the subsidising of PC purchases has particularly fuelled growth, in both PC sales and the junking of existing and workable computers.

PC shipments in the UK totalled 2.1 million units in the second quarter of 2007, an increase of 8% compared with the same period in 2006. The growth continued to be driven by mobile PCs and consumer-PC purchases.

Dell's sales have declined by 7% year-on-year, while the other four leading suppliers grew above the market average. Acer had the strongest year-on-year growth thanks to the expansion of its channel distribution in retail and its partnership with Dixons.

"The leading suppliers undertook an aggressive price war, marketing some mobile PCs at the value of £299," said Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst for Gartner, based in the UK.

There is still potential for more growth, however. "Attractive broadband deals and the declining price of PCs are increasing the number of households that own a PC in the UK," Atwal added.

The new subsidised PC selling strategies, such as free notebook PCs given away by broadband providers, will drive sales. And there are many more, he added. "Dixons is working with various PC suppliers, while Orange and Carphone Warehouse are in partnership with Dell and AOL. It will all boost PC penetration in the UK market," Atwal concluded.


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