It may be that PC consumers have been hit with Brexit jitters as the latest retail figures reveal that the sales of PCs across Britain fell 25% between January and February.
The latest figures from channel number-cruncher firm Context shows that between January and February UK PC volume sales via distributors fell 7% to 538,000. Business machines rose 4.5% to 361,000 but those for consumers fell 25% to 176,000.
Consumer PC sales have been weak across Western Europe, down 9%, due to little innovation and the move to smartphones. But in the UK, we are hearing (from distributors that supply retailers) of the additional impact of low consumer confidence, which is partly driven by Brexit uncertainty.- Marie-Christine Pygott: Senior Analyst, Context
Ms Pygott also pointed to the imminent migration from Windows 7 ahead of Microsoft ending their support as another driver affecting sales, particularly for businesses.
Despite the decline in volume sales, UK PC revenues edged up 1.9% to £282 million in the two months. This, Context said, was due to a higher mix of business and gaming machines being shipped. And as such, the average sales price increased by 8% to £531.
Likewise, revenue sales of PCs across Western Europe increased by 6% to €2 billion with the average sales price climbing 7% to €622. Almost all the countries across the region reported increases in sales apart from Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
According to global research and advisory firm, Forrester and Gartner many companies based in the UK have said they will spend less on tech, including PCs, primarily because of Brexit. Crucially strategic companies such as BMW, Airbus and Siemens have already planned for shrinking budgets.
There is still much uncertainty as to what type of Brexit will be enacted, or even if it will happen at all. But if the UK leaves without a withdrawal agreement, the so-called disorderly Brexit, a whole range of challenges will be faced, including product shortages and falling valuation of sterling.