British PC manufacturing 'back with a vengeance' - PC Retail

British PC manufacturing 'back with a vengeance'

UK production can compete with China, say system builders
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It seems reports of the desktop PC’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Contrary to popular belief, the desktop is thriving today in the high-end space thanks to a brave wave of British manufacturers.

Rafi Razzak, owner of UK IT giant Centerprise International, believes the UK PC manufacturing industry is “back with a vengeance” – and more than capable of competing with China’s production lines. 

Speaking to PCR, Razzak said: “By the year 2000, some of the bigger boys wanted to grow their marketshare. And as they went for it, they had the war on price. But it got to the point where they had to outsource back to the Far East, and they managed to probably decimate the PC industry in Europe. 

“In the last three or four years we’ve seen the revival of the desktop in the UK, not only in the gaming arena but in business. The bigger boys are aiming at market sectors, but when it comes to custom configuration, being able to react and smaller volume, their model doesn’t work very well.”

Razzak added: “If I’m going to make 100,000 computers all the same, I’ll go to China. But that’s not the market. Not in gaming. People want choice. And that’s why the desktop is alive again today – because no large manufacturer could meet the needs for 100 to 1,000 custom computers.

“In 1995 Toshiba said the desktop was dead. But we are now in 2013 and we still have desktops. The desktop and the British manufacturing industry is alive and coming back with a vengeance – we still produce excellent high-performance computers here in the UK.”

Centerprise acquired YoYoTech last year, which formerly operated out of a single London store but now supplies products to the trade from its Hemel Hempstead office.


FLYING THE FLAG (from left to right): YoYoTech’s CK and Centerprise’s Rafi Razzak and Emma Loveless

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YoYoTech’s systems range from the £599.99 Warbird M-Cube up to the £7,979.79 XDNA Aurum 24K, which can be personalised right down to having the owner’s name engraved inside. Check out the launch of YoYoTech's PC range in pictures.

Rivals Overclockers and Scan have welcomed the competition, and believe the British manufacturing industry has a bright future.

“If you look back to a few years ago, you had a lot of big companies doing big volumes, but the market wasn’t focused so much on the high-end PCs at the time,” commented Overclockers UK executive director Steve Ling.

“The market has picked up on the gaming side since – you don’t see PCs over £1,000 in Dixons, but we’re enjoying impressive year-on-year growth.”

Scan builds around 1,000 high-end systems every month. James Gorbold from Scan’s technical marketing department said: “Our customers demand individually tailored systems, so we manufacture in the UK – other lead times to market would be too long.”

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