UK PC sales enjoyed year-on-year growth of 10.7 per cent between January and November 2014.
Analyst Context says the growth was due to XP migration (driving business sales) and budget consumer laptops, while consumer interest in tablets dropped.
PC unit sales across Western European distribution grew 15.6 per cent from January to November over the same time last year, having peaked at 21.7 per cent year-on-year in Q3 before dropping slightly to 16.9 per cent growth for the first two months of Q4.
Microsoft officially withdrew support for its popular XP OS in April, so many organisations waited until then to refresh their stock of machines. As a result, business-focused PC sales grew 29.8 per cent in Q2 2014, before slowing to single digits by early Q4 as the XP migration effect lessened.
But as business PC growth slowed in the second half of the year, consumer PC sales rebounded from the weak performance registered last year, especially in the notebooks category.
“This was partially due again to XP migration but also a need to refresh ageing home PCs and a slowdown in demand for tablets which freed up money for notebook buys”, said Marie-Christine, senior analyst at Context.
However, the biggest factor was the heavy promotion of budget laptops – especially following Microsoft’s announcement of “Windows with Bing”, which flooded the market with affordable devices.
In October and November, sales of consumer clamshell laptops rose by 16.6 per cent year-on-year, with the sub-€250 category accounting for nearly 28 per cent of sales, compared to eight per cent last year.
By comparison, tablets fared less well thanks to rising saturation in mature markets and longer-than-expected product lifecycles. Although year-on-year growth overall so far amounted to 1.8 per cent, sales were down 9.3 per cent in Q3 and 6.5 per cent in the first two months of Q4, Context said.
Elsewhere, desktop display sales held up pretty well with year-on-year growth of 10 per cent (Jan-Nov) thanks to post-XP orders and post-economic downturn investments from business buyers, and attractively priced larger sized and higher res monitors in the consumer market.
Year-on-year PC growth Jan-Nov 2014 vs Jan-Nov 2013