Intel wants Australian resellers to embrace the enthusiast computing market and is targeting high-end computers with its Core i5 and i7 range of processors.
This group includes hardcore PC gamers, overclockers and heavy multimedia users, all of whom often source their own computer parts to build custom PCs.
Some are willing to pay big money to do so. A high-end PC can end up costing 3-4 times more than an entry level system.
“They tend to buy frequently because they are always tweaking their systems [to maximise performance],” Intel worldwide reseller channel general manager, Steve Dallman, said. “Typically, they’re probably redoing their systems at a CPU level about three times a year.”
While other developed countries such as South Korea and Japan have a strong enthusiast presence, Australian resellers have yet to really service that space, according to Dallman.
“Enthusiasts are going to demand a certain amount of performance and uniformity across the platform and I think that ends up becoming something our resellers can take care of,” he said.
Dallman disagrees with resellers who see the enthusiast arena as small.
“The Australian market looks exactly like all the other markets where the enthusiast market has taken off in terms of income, what people do and products being sold,” he said. “If the enthusiast market isn’t growing, I’d say it’s an area ripe to invest in and get going.”
Dallman said Intel’s Australian reseller base was heavily involved with SMBs and he wants to see some of that success translate into the enthusiast space.
Austin Computers executive director, Alan Tan, said this space was growing but it was still a very small market.
The premier Intel reseller underscored that enthusiasts computer components only made up five per cent of its business.
“It is common for high-performance parts to be hard to obtain [in Australia],” Tan said. “This is quite often the case so that is why, because of a shortage, people put prices up so particular models become more expensive.”
This is one of the reasons resellers are hesitant about diving head first into the enthusiast market, Tan claimed.
There will always be customers willing to pay a premium to be the first to get their hands on a product but that number was very small, he said.
“Vendors should ensure stock is consistent, otherwise I’m hesitant to promote the product since I might not even get stock,” he said. “By the time you get enough supply and prices go back to normal people won’t order [because the product is no longer the newest on the market].”
But ASI Solutions managing director, Ken Lowe, said if Australian resellers demanded more stock, vendors would deliver.
The company is in the process of stepping back into the high-end computing space after a decade long hiatus.
“If we are to get some volume in this area, with buying power, I believe we will be able to get a better buying cost so things will be more affordable for enthusiasts locally,” Lowe said. “We’ve been in this space before so it is a matter of turning the tap on.”
Serving the enthusiast population also presented added opportunities with business customers, he said.
Lowe pointed to the film and finance industry where powerful desktops are necessary to facilitate smooth business operations.
“These people want to pay for performance in order to get a good return,” he said. “They don’t want to sit there and wait for things to happen so performance is key.”