Volume sales of PCs through Western European distributors were down by -2.4% in Q1 2019 compared to last year as consumer demand remained weak and Intel chip supply tight, according to the latest distribution data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.
Consumer PC sales declined by -11.3% as people continue to shift towards using smartphones for day-to-day tasks and see little reason to buy new machines. Notebook sales dropped by -12.1% while those of desktops were down -7.6%.
“The general fall was exacerbated by the effects of political and economic conditions in some of countries: for instance, in the UK, where consumer confidence is low amidst Brexit-related uncertainty, consumer PC sales dropped by -17.6%”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at CONTEXT.
As in the past few quarters, the situation was much healthier in the commercial segment. Business PC volume sales were +4.6% up on last year, driven by the end of Windows 7 support in early 2020 and the need to modernise workplaces. Sales of notebooks increased by +6.6% and desktops by +0.6%. The increase in workstation sales, which has been ongoing for quite some time now, continued with a +11.3% growth in mobile systems and a +4.9% increase in sales of stationary ones.
The tightness of Intel’s chip supply has led to greater fluctuations in distributor stock movement over the past few quarters as vendors try to steer demand to match available supply. Some vendors have also added more AMD-based PCs to their portfolios to provide an alternative offering and, as a result, the overall share of AMD-based PCs this quarter was up to 6.7% of commercial sales and 14.7% of consumer PCs – an increase of 2.5 percentage points year-on-year in each case.