Sales of PCs in the UK enjoyed double digit year-on-year growth for the fifth quarter running between April and June, prompting analysts to speculate that the long awaited corporate spending rebound has finally arrived.
According to IDC, PC sales growth in the UK has been at its highest level for almost four years, with shipments exceeding 1.87 million units in the second quarter of 2004.
The analyst firm said that notebook growth was strong at 24.3 per cent year on year. But the real success story was the desktop market which boasted 19.6 per cent year-on-year growth, three times the number shipped in the same period last year.
IDC attributed the increase to strong corporate demand, migration to Windows XP, and more competitive offerings in the retail channel.
"A steady uplift in corporate demand has been noted over the past few quarters, with necessary renewals and the replacement of ageing infrastructure slowly gaining momentum," said Ian Gibbs, research analyst with IDC's European Personal Computing team.
The rise in desktop shipments reflected corporate demand, added Gibbs, although many firms were now replacing desktops with notebooks.
Firms considering migrating to Windows XP will also be looking to update their PCs, IDC noted.
Demand for small form-factor desktops in space-constrained environments has also seen a steady improvement. Commercial notebook shipments rose by 17.8 per cent year on year.
Government spending has remained strong in the PC market, with rollouts taking place on local and national levels. This maintained a trend observed over the past few quarters.
IDC said that the consumer PC market growth was characterised by fierce competition between the retail and direct consumer channels.
Demand in the consumer market has been fuelled by migration to Windows XP and continuing demand for storage to cope with music, video and image files.
Consumer desktop shipments expanded by 8.7 per cent year on year, while notebook shipments rose by 43.6 per cent year on year, reflecting the burgeoning demand for mobility.
Dixons Group continued to be the key retail outlet for a handful of the top-tier vendors.
But in the direct channel Dell, and to a lesser extent Time, continue to exert considerable competitive pressures, with notebook prices as low as £499.
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