High-end systems, a new generation of DDR4 memory, gaming on 4K displays and an increase in cloud-based systems could be at the forefront of the tech market this year, says the PCR Retail Advisory Board…
CK, MD, YOYOTECH
”I have been in the PC industry for more than 20 years and I’ve never felt more confident that opportunities will increase this year. Will we break sales records from the past? No. Will we see a significant increase in the sale of high-end and high-quality systems in 2014? Yes.
The wobble caused by Windows 8 is behind us and Microsoft is working hard to make its operating system more user-friendly.
At the same time, we are seeing a huge push for 4K gaming, which will drive interest in graphics and screens in 2014. We know that Sky will have a 4K offer in place for the World Cup in the summer, which means people will need to be able to edit 4K video – a very tough job, as 4K boasts a four times increase in pixel count over traditional HD.
Lastly, we’re seeing some interesting developments around the Mini-ITX format, with small, powerful systems coming to the fore – and the tablet and smartphone markets have moved from astronomic growth to ‘regular’ growth, with low prices/margins and long contracts on offer.
For YOYOTech, 4K immersive gaming will be the big news for 2014 – as we’re already starting to see this area kick.”
CRAIG HUME, DIRECTOR, UTOPIA COMPUTERS
”I’m always a glass half full kind of guy – I have big plans for Utopia moving into 2014. I see our brand growing further as we continue to increase our marketshare by innovating and working closely with our vendors in the custom-build desktop and laptop marketplace.
The biggest challenge for most retailers – ourselves included – will be fighting the continuing decline of traditional desktop and laptop sales. I would suggest that most bricks and mortar stores will be looking to strengthen their tablet strategy, and, if they have not already, look to the repair of tablets and phones to support possible losses in system sales.
Despite the decline in traditional computing, there is plenty for retailers to look forward to in the way of new products. One key line to watch will be the launch of DDR4 memory, which I expect to be found in most new systems by Q4 this year. This also means new motherboards and larger RAM capacity – expect 8GB to be the new entry point. Secondly I’m looking forward to the falling prices of 4K screens and innovative products like the Oculus Rift to drive demand for high-spec desktops and laptops.
Finally, I hope that we see the crowdfunded video game Star Citizen released in 2014. It has a great potential to drive sales with its ultra high system requirements and due to its PC exclusivity, it will be a great lure to bring console gamers to the PC platform.”
IAIN SHAW, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, BRIGANTIA
“2013 was a year of consolidation at Brigantia, and 2014 will see significant developments as we seek to enhance the range of benefits and services that we are able to offer to our membership community.
2014 will see massive growth in cloud-based services, and mobility will be the key. Brigantia members will be looking to grow recurring revenue streams from comms and applications, and to service the devices that their customers use to connect – whether fixed or mobile.”
GAVIN HOLDER, DIRECTOR, GHI COMPUTERS
”2013 brought very little in terms of new tech and thus very little to help fill our tills. 2014 certainly seems exciting – in particular I am hoping for a demand in wearable tech.
Transformer pads could be set to make up for dwindling laptop sales, as interest in these seems to be gathering pace.
The biggest challenge facing indies will be filling their shelves with must-have gadgets. It’s an age-old story that the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft will prevent their gadgets being sold by pretty much anyone other than national retailers. Will anyone see Google Glass or a Kindle stocked at their local independent retailer? What about an Xbox One or Surface? I doubt it.”