The UK IT sector has started the year on the front foot

Andrew Walsh, a member of GfK’s IT panel, highlights the encouraging growth seen in the IT industry
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Andrew Walsh, a member of GfK’s IT panel, highlights the encouraging growth seen in the IT industry and why PC sales are on the rise.

The IT sector has started the year on the front foot, up by 20 per cent in January 2015 versus last year, with software, mobile computing and media gateways leading the way. The predominant trend across PCs has stemmed from declining prices, which has largely contributed to overall market value remaining flat versus January 2014. 

Media tablets has also been one of the largest contributors to this trend – not withstanding a volume decline of 25 per cent – the category registered a 35 per cent value decline compared to the same time last year.

The mobile computing market, led by notebooks, has benefitted from a downturn in average prices over the latter half of 2014, leading to a 13 per cent volume growth against January 2014 – yet given the decrease in average prices, the segment did not register any value growth over this time.

The computing tablets sector (full OS tablets and two-in-one devices) also experienced strong growth in the latter half of 2014 – led predominately by low cost slate tablets entering the market, helping double the size of this segment within the space of
12 months.

The mediabooks segment grew by 13 per cent in January 2015, again following the traditional PCs trend of achieving this via lower market prices. This time a decline of nine per cent of prices facilitated this growth. From a deskbound computing perspective, traditional (tower) desktops continue to grow in the retail channels, again aided by ten per cent average price declines versus last year. The allure of lower cost desk computing has for now stemmed the share growth of high-performance gaming devices.

All-in-one (AIO) desktop computing continues to register double-digit growth, standing at 45 per cent in January. Again this was also achieved via lowering of prices, which at a drop of 24 per cent compared to last year is one of the largest rates seen across the PCs sector.

On the peripherals front, dashboard cams have helped drive the visual cams sector to 98 per cent growth versus January 2014. 

The only other category to register such growth has been media gateways, which has been a strong growth category throughout 2014 and continues to skim prices to achieve over 200 per cent volume growth compared to last year, with market value also doubling over this period.

Overall, given the promotional opportunities that January brings, where average prices are expected to be lower at this time, they are beyond that of previous years and ultimately have encouraged the recent growth of the traditional PCs market in the latter stages of 2014 and into the
New Year. 

Most markets are also in similar sways of price erosion, with few high-value areas delivering consistent growth through higher prices. 

About the author

Andrew Walsh is a member of GfK’s IT panel.

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