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Commercial demand for PCs remains strong despite weak consumer sales

European PC distributors are continuing to see strong commercial demand being offset by weaker consumer sales in early Q3 – a pattern that has characterised the past few quarters, according to Context.

The latest report from the IT market intelligence company found that volume sales of PCs through Western Europe’s largest distributors were up by 8% year-on-year in July 2019, driven by a 15% growth in the commercial sector as businesses continued to invest in new hardware in preparation for the end of Windows 7 support early next year.

Notebook sales were up by 11% and desktops by 25%. Workstation volumes also grew: stationary systems by 18% and mobile machines by 25%.

On the other hand, sales of consumer PCs remained weak, falling by 2% in July 2019 when compared to last year. The decline was driven by a 3% drop in sales of notebooks. While there was growth in some consumer areas, including desktops, ultra-slim portables and Chromebooks, the volume bases in these parts of the market were too small to reverse the negative trend.

Gaps in the supply of Intel processors continued to impact PC sales, although, Context reports that most vendors say the situation is improving.

“It is expected that commercial demand will remain strong throughout the second half of 2019 as migration to Windows 10 continues,” said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context. “While a range of promotional activities during the upcoming back-to-school and Black Friday periods are likely to lead to a temporary improvement in the consumer growth trend, overall demand is expected to remain soft.”

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