The PC market has recorded its highest ever growth, boosting sales by nearly 20 per cent, according to analyst IDC - and resellers can expect high sales to continue.
PC shipments grew by 18.7 per cent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the third quarter of this year compared with the same quarter last year.
Western Europe saw 17.5 per cent growth year on year, helped by solid consumer notebook sales and aggressive pricing in retail and business channels.
Notebook sales jumped 51 per cent in the region and were the main business driver. But, with a price decline of more than 25 per cent year on year, vendors have not been celebrating in revenue terms.
Desktop sales have also improved over previous quarters, driven by gradual business renewal.
Andy Brown, IDC's EMEA mobile computing programme manager, said: "Things are on the up for the foreseeable future, largely driven by the notebook market as there is a low installed base in the consumer and small and medium-sized business market."
There is also hope at the enterprise level, as business budgets start to improve.
"For desktops, business is picking up with renewal cycles coming round. It comes every four years and the last major business renewal was in 1999 prior to Y2K."
Brown said that vendor programmes such as Top Value from Hewlett Packard and Top Seller from IBM have boosted the market.
But he said: "It is still not an easy market and resellers have to fight for business. If you're not working with HP [which enjoyed 17.6 per cent growth in the third quarter year on year] there are only a few guys you can work with. And HP is picking and choosing."
Brown advised that resellers should focus on notebook sales. "Acer [with 55 per cent growth overall] is driving a lot of notebook sales through the channel and the margins are simply better than for desktop sales. It is also good to focus on a niche."
Shaun Frohlich, executive chairman of IT services consultancy Teksys, said: "We have had a good quarter as we do a lot of business in the education sector and the summer is boom time.
"There is also new server technology and new desktop operating systems from Microsoft driving sales."
But he added: "The market isn't buoyant; it's a grind. There are hoops you have to go through to get business. It is still a buyer's market.
"The price you pay for what you get is unbelievable; the margins are insanely low."
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