Local computer retailers found unexpected allies. The sharp decline on the computer market in recent months has been slightly offset by the growing number of female customers. Women are usually interested in the smallest and also cheapest notebooks and netbooks, the price of which fell under CZK 6,000. “Notebooks are becoming designer items. The red and white ones are selling the best this year,” said Martin Doležal from Czech Computer.
The Czech computer market fell by almost 20% in Q2. If it wasn’t for the sale of notebooks, the drop would be much more significant. Table PCs sold 30% less than last year, according to Gartner data.
Only three producers from the top ten preserved the growing trend. These the top selling notebooks, Acer, Sony and MSI. Everyone is now waiting for the new operation system Windows 7 that should serve as a new impulse for the market.
Local computer market held up by netbooks
According to Gartner company data, local computer retailers sold 171,936 computers in Q2, out of which 110,936 were portables. The results are below average when compared to other regions. Globally, sales fell by 3.1% in Q2.
Retailers are relatively satisfied, though. The sales are being kept up by netbooks. According to information available to E15, even though these are the cheapest computers they have the highest margin. While regular computer prices have a 6% margin, with netbooks the margin is double.
“The share of netbooks grew from 10% to 20%,” said Doležal. He says netbook prices start below CZK 6,000. Jan Samko, marketing director of Alza Computers confirms the growing sales of netbooks. He said the differences between notebooks and netbooks are gradually disappearing. Netbooks are equipped with better technologies and their size is slowly increasing. Notebooks are getting smaller.
The release of the new operation system Windows 7, to be officially launched 22 October, should also help boost sales. “Majority of the small computers have been equipped with Windows XP due to expense. Windows 7 should be more suitable for netbooks than Vista,” Samko said. Acer leads the local portable computer market, followed by Hewlett Packard and Asus. Toshiba overtook Dell in Q2 and is now fourth. The Chinese producer Lenovo is also planning an attack on the local portable computer market.