Blog: The desktop's renaissance - PC Retail

Blog: The desktop's renaissance

GfK’s account manager Andrew Walsh takes a look at how traditional desktops are experiencing an upturn in fortunes
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GfK’s account manager Andrew Walsh takes a look at how traditional desktops are continuing to experience an upturn in fortunes...

The IT sector grew by five per cent in June 2014 versus last year, with software close to claiming 50 per cent of all the market volume in the month.

However, for many peripheral categories, lower average prices have led to a severe loss of market value over the same period – culminating in a 15 per cent value loss for the entire IT sector.

Software was the main victim of this trend – that of lower average prices – to aid this volume growth. Sales value over the same period declined by 25 per cent, a stark contrast to the volume growth.

This trend has also hit the storage sector – experiencing volume growth yet seeing a decline in market value of 22 per cent, again alluding to a strong preference towards lower selling prices from the consumer and a declining influence of premium offerings.

The networking market completes this triumvirate of peripherals trends, experiencing a 15 per cent volume growth on last year, yet losing five per cent in market value.

These three trends show an increasing affordability of major peripheral categories as the hardware sector experiences mixed fortunes.

Starting with the positives, the traditional desktop segment continues to experience an upturn in fortunes – in large part thanks to a continued renaissance in PC gaming in the retail sector, which has predominately been desktop focused as opposed to notebooks.

To this extent, desktop volume growth has been modest at three per cent, yet the clamour for higher specs and faster performance has led to a higher average selling price in the market, culminating in a 20 per cent value growth this month versus last year.

The quarterly result is even more positive for the desktop segment, highlighting this revival, growing in volume by 25 per cent in the retail channel and registering 40 per cent value growth. Although quarterly results can often overlook a strong individual monthly performance, it cannot mask the continued downward trend of the mobile computing segment, driven by notebooks, which account for 80 per cent of the category volume.

The desktop segment growth shows value growth can be obtained from a mature market by enhancing the product performance, with users willing to spend more if it leads to a greater consumer experience.

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