PC Sales Surge Spells Renewed Opportunity for VARsBy Leah Gabriel Nurik | Print
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PC sales are on the upswing in 2010, and analyst firm IDC is forecasting that trend to continue. That's good news for resellers, VARs and IT solution providers who rely on hardware sales as a component of their businessesIDC recently reaffirmed the renewed growth of the PC market in 2010 with new positive and hopeful numbers and forecasts. That spells great news for VARs relying on hardware sales as a key component of their businesses.
In the first quarter of 2010, PC shipments surged at an unprecedented growth rate of 27.1 percent, underscoring that economic recovery, both commercially and in the consumer sectors is on the upswing.
What’s driving the resurgence of the PC market? Primarily, the surge in hiring means all of the PCs sitting in your customer’s closets are gathering dust, and are out-of-date. Also, the declining popularity of netbooks—2009 marked shipments of the less expensive PCs. IDC reported a small rebound in higher priced PCs, but low to mid-range PCs are still the dominant desired PC hardware in the marketplace.
The desktop is also regaining in popularity. The first quarter saw shipment rates of desktops finally grow for the first time since the second quarter of 2008. In addition, what are classified as "commercial desktops" posted their first positive growth rate since the economic downturn began.
The renewed interest in mainstream notebooks fueled a slowing in the continuing decline of Average Sales Prices (ASPs) for PCs, and that means improved margins for VARs. IDC anticipates that the price declines will continue to slow up even more as the market rebounds and growth continues.
If you’re looking to expand into new territories, you may be wise to take a close look at emerging markets. PC growth occurred over both emerging and mature markets, but, emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China saw a record growth rate of 37 percent year-over-year growth in first quarter of 2010. The bulk of the PC market growth is occurring in emerging regions, which are forecasted to grow 26.6 percent in 2010. Mature markets like the United States should expect to see more than 13 percent growth—still not too shabby.
The analyst firm seems bullish on the continued growth of the PC market, saying that it expects PC market revenue to surpass the previous peak set in 2008 finally as price declines slow and companies and consumers move away from netbooks and back to notebooks and desktop PCs. This year, netbook growth is not expected to surpass more than 12 percent of the total share of the PC market.
Desktops will continue to gain popularity with anticipated growth of over 8 percent this year, but mainstream notebooks and portable PCs will fuel the bulk of the PC market both commercially and in the consumer sectors, reaching nearly 70 percent of the share of the whole PC market by 2012.
And, keep a keen eye on what the PC experience is and how it is changing. The market is in flux, according to IDC analyst Jay Chou.
"Beyond continuing with the market recovery, 2010 will be a year filled with new formulations on what constitutes the PC experience," said Jay Chou, research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "New devices such as e-readers and media tablets will pose disruptive challenges to conventional usage models while opening up intriguing possibilities in consumer and mobile business spaces."
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