• Alain Godet

New Covid Price Index Shows Strengthening of Notebook Prices

Marie-Christine Pygott, Senior Personal Systems Analyst for CONTEXT
Marie-Christine Pygott, Senior Personal Systems Analyst for CONTEXT

The selling prices of notebooks through Distribution across most Western European countries has strengthened over the past few weeks, according to a new and more accurate price index devised by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

Regular average selling price (ASP) calculations are made by simply dividing total revenues for a category by units sold. However, this lacks granularity, as analysts can’t discern whether changes are due to fluctuations in the price of products or the mix of products being bought.

CONTEXT’s new Weekly Product Price Trend Index takes the average price of each product and tracks and indexes it, to provide a true measure of actual price changes. The Index is set to 100 at Week 0 of the pandemic in each country.

The Index shows that most Western European countries are showing the index above 100 ten to twelve weeks into the pandemic: Spain (102), the UK (102.3), Germany (102.7), France (103.3), Italy (104.1), Austria (105.4) and Norway (108.5). Only two countries — Finland (99.7) and Belgium (99) — fell just below their starting index for week 0.

The strengthening of prices across the region is a reflection of a mix of factors, including high demand and additional supply chain and other costs that the IT channel has had to absorb in the weeks following Covid-related government lockdowns.

Notebook unit sales have performed strongly in recent weeks, helping to drive mobile computing revenues in the four weeks ending May 17 (week 20) to 77% year-on-year growth, or €174 million.

Despite fewer trading days in the first half of May, business notebooks showed strong year-on-year growth of 76% (to 484,000 units) and 49% in consumer notebooks (to 329,000 units). This continued the positive trends seen in April.

Much of this really high growth has been driven by distributors reducing the order backlog that built up in March when the lockdown measures created an urgent need for mobile devices. Now notebook supply, which was extremely low in March and early April, has greatly improved again so the channel can fulfil these orders”, explained Marie-Christine Pygott, Senior Personal Systems Analyst. “We’re also seeing new demand coming in from the education sector, and from various other verticals that are rethinking the way they organise home and flexible working. But this is not at the same level as the demand we saw at the peak of the crisis in March, so we can expect overall growth rates for notebooks to decrease over the next few weeks.

By contrast, year-on-year desktop performance remained weak in the early part of May due to a structural shift to mobile, large projects being postponed or cancelled, and strong Windows 10 migration-driven growth last year.