With persistent doom-and-gloom stories circulating around the PC market, gaming PCs, ultrathin notebooks and Chromebooks proved this Christmas that there’s still life in the the old computer yet – if only in more niche areas.
According to figures from Context, the aforementioned gaming PCs, ultrathin notebooks and Chromebooks provided bright spots in an otherwise soft Q4 2017 Christmas season for PC sales across Western Europe.
Volume sales of what the company brands ‘Enthusiast’ and VR-ready gaming PCs from Western Europe’s largest distributors to retailers, consumer etailers and telephone shops increased by 11 per cent in the run-up to Christmas compared to the previous year. Ultrathin notebooks (generally defined as laptops less than 16mm thick) saw unit sales rise by 28 per cent across both traditional and new mobile form factors, with convertibles posting the strongest growth – albeit from the smallest base.
“Chromebooks were also in demand in some countries and posted an overall growth of 66 per cent year-on-year even though the base in the region remained low”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context. “The continued popularity of gaming PCs, ultrathin systems and Chromebooks was, however, unable to offset the general weakness in demand for traditional consumer PC systems.“
As evidenced from the table above, while there is positive news for gaming PCs, ultrabooks and Chromebooks, overall PC volume sales from Western European distributors to consumer channels during the holiday season were down by 9.1 per cent against the same period in 2016.