Indirect channel to claim more PC business

Gartner expects to see increasing share of PC market sales through indirect channels

Tags: Gartner IncorporationUSA
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By  Andrew Seymour Published  June 2, 2009

The global PC market is set to go the way of the Middle East in the sense that an increasing amount of sales will take place through indirect channels in future.

Shipments through indirect channels currently account for 74% of all worldwide PC sales compared with 67% five years ago, a trend that Gartner Dataquest predicts will continue to gain pace.

The research house insists that as the volume of business conducted through the channel grows, PC manufacturers will need to make a better fist of customer segmentation and go-to-market strategies.

Although even the largest PC projects are routinely fulfilled by the channel in the Middle East, vendors have typically taken enterprise, government and education business direct in other parts of the world.

However, Gartner expects the indirect model to grow in stature, buoyed by the strong growth of home and SMB products in both mature and emerging markets.

By 2012 it forecasts that 80% of global PCs will be sold indirectly.

“The distribution of PCs has always been a complex logistics exercise and during the last two years the channel has been particularly volatile with a declining average selling price, increased channels to market, consolidation and the introduction of new brands and technologies to the market,” said Tiffani Bova, research VP at Gartner.

“Building a robust and comprehensive go-to-market strategy is critical to the overall success of a PC manufacturer. Building a one-size-fits-all product or channel strategy will not deliver the flexibility or responsiveness customers are looking for in today’s market,” added Bova.

Gartner anticipates the retail channel benefiting from home and SOHO customers that prefer to buy PCs from a physical store than purchase directly, while it also believes telecom operators will forge a much stronger position as viable mobile PC channels in future.

In the UAE, operator Etisalat recently began offering Acer netbooks as part of a mobile broadband data package, mirroring a trend that has been visible among carriers in Europe during the past 18 months.

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