Are notebook sales driven by sporting events? Not really

With the imminent arrival of what is arguably the single biggest sporting event in South Africa history, one cannot help to ponder whether its impact, on an economic scale and particularly ICT, will be as far-reaching as predicted.

According to ICT consultancy, BMI-TechKnowledge (BMI-T) the (upcoming) event has helped ease the effects of the global economic downturn and subsequent ICT spend in the South African transport communications and media sectors.

“All these sectors need high-tech solutions, with communications and media companies having a higher percentage of knowledge workers than the transport sector, but all these companies still need basic hardware, software, information technology services and telecommunication infrastructure to run their companies internally.

BMI-T, however does note the economic downturn has had a greater effect on the ICT spend of some industries than on that of others.

Considering the above, which at a glance does seem positive, how has the unsung hero of personal computing, the notebook fared?  Anamika Budree, HP PSG Business Unit Manager at Drive Control Corporation (DCC), comments notebooks sales are increasing, however, international sporting events are not a major contributing factor.

“There is no doubt that we are seeing some significant market movement, vendors alike have all indicated that notebook sales have now surpassed the demand for desktops.  It is an exciting time for notebook vendors and their channel partners, driven by the requirement for mobility.

“Most of the notebook vendors have released newer, leaner and powerful notebooks that are aggressively priced.  Unlike a few years ago, our local adoption rates mirror our international peers; the reality is globally notebooks are doing extremely well.”

Adds Mandy Porter, Dell Business Unit Manager at DCC: “The mobile generation has well and truly arrived and undoubtedly a key contributor to notebooks’ success.

“Moreover we are finding that vendors are tailoring their offerings to meet exacting needs; for example, there are now notebooks available in the same form factor than netbooks but with all the power of high-spec notebook, at a slightly higher pricing – good value is definitely bolstering growth.”

This sentiment is also echoed by analyst group, Gartner Inc which in a recent report indicated the first quarter of 2010, PC shipments in EMEA totalled 27.1 million units, a 24.8 percent increase from the first quarter last year.

“The first quarter volume was the biggest on record. The EMEA (Europe, Middle-East and Africa) market was boosted by exceptional mobile consumer market demand, which continues to grow unabated. The professional market is starting to see some upside mainly coming from small businesses, rather than large businesses. However, the pipeline is positive with large tenders for major hardware refreshes coinciding with Windows 7 deployments,” says the report.

Adds Budree: “At DCC we are expecting that Windows 7 drive the momentum for notebooks, plus coupled with Intel’s Core i processing, the market is looking healthy.”

Lastly, she comments, notebooks have simply continued to do what it does best, providing innovation, mobility and tailor-made features that serve a mobile generation.

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Are notebook sales driven by sporting events? Not really