Notebooks sales to large firms expected to fall: IDC

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Companies with 250 or more staff expect to spend less on notebooks in the next 12 months, a recent market report by IDC has found.
Michael Sager, market analyst for PC hardware at IDC, said that a survey of 255 enterprises in Australia with 250 or more staff revealed that their overall notebook spend was expected to decrease.
Portables sales - including notebooks - in 2003 were 14.5 percent up on 2002 figures. Notebook sales were the main driver, enjoying a growth rate of 30 percent, he said.
However, Sager could not say how much notebook spend was expected to decrease, as that had not been one of the questions asked in the survey.
'We asked, “do you plan to increase resources or extend your spending on something over the next 12 months”,' Sager said. 'It's not actually spend, it's more demand-side research.'
About 49 percent of companies in the more than 250 staff and the 250 and fewer than 500 staff categories said their spending on notebooks would stay the same. About 22 percent in those categories said their notebook spend would increase, he said.
'Just a hair under 30 percent said [notebook spend] would decrease,' Sager said. 'So we are expecting a mild decline.'
The reason, he said, was simple. Larger companies had concluded their post-Y2K technology refreshes begun in the first quarter of 2003 while the Australian dollar was strong against the greenback, Sager said.
Government sales were also expected to grow minimally since 2004 was an election year, he added.
However, the picture still looked bright for notebook sales to SMBs and for tablet PCs and smart handheld devices across the board.
'GST has affected smaller organisations more and they take longer to refresh their PCs,' Sager said.
He said that vendors and the channel should investigate potential for peripherals sales to beef up an anorexic PC spend this year. Items such as wireless keyboards and mice could prove popular, Sager suggested.
'The notebook market has grown faster than the planning for ergonomics. The “paperless office” has given way to the “three ring binder revolution” where users harness old office materials to bring their notebooks back to eye level,' he said.


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