Despite the global economic meltdown – which still has not trickled down into some researchers' statistics – it appears that PC sales, thanks to mini-notebooks, were still increasing during 2008.
Christopher Riley, CEO of The Notebook Company, says that while sales in Western Europe showed a 12,1% increase during the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the last quarter of 2007, notebook sales in South Africa are "going to be hard-hit by the local recession and the weakness of the rand against the dollar".
Gartner reported recently that PC shipments in Western Europe tallied 20,1-million units for the fourth quarter of 2008, up 12,1% on the fourth quarter of 2007.
"The global financial meltdown, spurred by the credit crunch experienced in the US, had already started to be felt quite keenly by the fourth quarter of 2008 – so these figures are quite reassuring and actually fly in the face of other 'bad news' statistics. This figure represents a solid 17m2% growth in comparison to 2007," Riley adds.
But, he says, it is interesting to note that mini-notebooks continued to boost PC sales growth, making up nearly 2,5-million units in the fourth quarter.
"I think first quarter 2009 sales in South Africa are going to reflect a slowdown in company and consumer spending," he says. "Our sales have been relatively flat during the third and fourth quarters of 2008. They haven't been down, but, in real terms we are not showing growth.
"However, on the bright side, we are seeing an up tick in upgrades and I think this is going to assist our growth during the next financial year. Many end users are turning to upgrades, right now, rather then investing in new laptops. Even if they have the cash, they are waiting for an improvement in the economy."