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In the PC world the commercial market has been the main source of revenue and hope in a market that has been struggling for most of the past five years and that trend has continued into 2018.
Figures from market watchers Context, which gets sales numbers from Western European distributors, indicate that volume sales of desktops, notebooks and PC workstations increased by 3.3% in January year-on-year.
The growth was driven by sales of commercial PCs, which had a 10.3% rise last month. The consumer segment continued to struggle and volumes there dropped by 4.4%.
The growth in the commercial sector was across all the main form factors with desktops up by 6.5%, notebooks by 12% and PC workstations by 12.5%.
Context also indicated that January was not going to be a blip and the long awaited impact of Windows 10 was starting to kick in and drive customer upgrades.
“Commercial PCs are expected to remain the stronger segment in the near future as more companies upgrade to Windows 10 and refresh their ageing hardware”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context.
Last year there was a regular refrain from hardware vendors that the end of 2017 and the first half of 2018 would be when more enterprises made the move to fresh Windows 10 running hardware.
From a country perspective the UK was nowhere near Germany and Spain, which delivered 10.2% and 10% respectively, and came in with 2.7% decline in January.
Although the consumer market has been struggling throughout the last year there are some signs that even that side of the market could recover.
"The PC will become a more specialized, purpose-driven device. PC buyers will look for quality and functionality rather than looking for the lowest price, which will increase PC average selling prices and improve profitability in the long run. However, until this point is reached, the market will have to go through the shrinking phase caused by fewer PC users," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.