UK sales of personal computers (PCs) did not drop as severely as expected in 2001. Buoyed by consumer sales, sales for first quarter 2002 declined only 4% from first quarter 2001, according to the latest figures from IDC. Sales of notebooks and laptop computers made a huge impact on overall sales, recording an impressive 46.2% year-on-year increase in sales.
Frozen corporate IT budgets held back growth, but PC renewals are beginning to become necessary for businesses – which in turn will spur growth in corporate sales. "The current climate is such that businesses are reluctant to invest in IT without proof that they will visibly aid their businesses," explains IDC analyst Rita Sfeir.
For vendors, this means a fiercely competitive climate. Dell maintains leadership, and continues to grow steadily. However, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard (second- and third-place vendors respectively) both lost a significant slice of the market from first quarter 2001 to 2002, each declining by over 11%. The best performance was by Japanese manufacturer NEC Computers International, which increased its sales by 24.3%. However, NEC CI dropped one spot in the rankings to fourth place, giving up its third place to Hewlett-Packard.