A look at the latest trends in the UK IT market

GfK: Desktop computing grows with demand for high specs

GfK account manager Saad Sultan discusses how sales of peripherals, components and monitors are all on the rise thanks to PC gaming.

The UK IT market saw a three per cent decline in value for July 2014 compared to last year within retail channels. Although various categories have performed well and seen growth, it has not been enough to offset the decline in tablets.

A 12 per cent reduction in average prices for this product group and 10 per cent decline in volume sold has resulted in a smaller value generated for the overall market.

The peripherals category has seen respectable growth across most product groups, with media gateways performing significantly well. The introduction of two new models in the market priced attractively low has led to consumers embracing this technology streaming media to the TV. Subsequently, the volume sold has increased by 589 per cent and the value has tripled.

Computer components are also seeing positive trends with higher specifications and increased computer performance becoming a key determining factor in purchasing decisions. Multimedia devices are seeing growth, driven by high performance graphics cards, leading to 11 per cent growth in value compared to last year. The uptake of higher capacity memory modules with higher prices meant the value grew by 29 per cent, even though there was a slight decline in volume.

Visual cams are seeing a similar trend, with a decline in units sold yet significant growth in value at 85 per cent. Built in webcams within mobile computing and smartphones are responsible for the reducing demand for visual cams. However, consumers are moving towards purchasing the premium models available on the market, which doubled the average prices.

The digital assistants market is becoming saturated leading to a 22 per cent decline in volume and four per cent decline in value compared to last year. The sales of lower priced models have reduced significantly, whilst higher priced models with advanced features begin to dominate the market.

Desktop computing continues its strong growth driven largely by the resurgence of PC gaming and consumers looking to replace aged computers. The demanding use from gaming requires higher specifications and faster performance in a computer which come with a premium price tag. Consequently, Desktops have seen an increase in average prices which, combined with a 19 per cent increase in units sold, produced 30 per cent growth in value.

Monitors are also seeing positive trends as larger screen sizes and higher resolutions attract consumers to replace existing displays. PC gaming and media streaming is also contributing to growth as consumers look to enhance the quality and experience of using their desktop computers. Compared to last year, volume sold increased by 11 per cent and the value grew by 31 per cent as consumers pay higher prices to improve the display.

With the saturation of tablets, the advancement in technical specifications of hardware and resulting improvements in computer performance, consumers are enticed to upgrade their desktop computers or replace them entirely. Media gateways are diversifying the use of a computer and its resources, further increasing the appeal for increased performance and higher quality displays.

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