IDC is predicting that the trend of direct sales, epitomised last week by PC vendors Hewlett-Packard and Compaq with the launch of retail stores and Internet sites, is set to overcome more traditional channels in the near future.
Rupinder Toor, market analyst for IDC, expects the direct channel sector "to be the fastest growing channel in the next three years".
IDC statistics show 33 per cent of PCs shipped last year went through the direct channel and projections show that by 2002 it will rise to 36 per cent.
In the last quarter of 1998, 60 per cent of PCs sold direct were purchased via the Internet. This trend is set to continue this year, added Toor.
"The continued adoption of Internet sales models by new and established vendors and the willingness of various consumer segments to purchase PCs over the Internet contributed to the growing direct sales," Toor said.
According to Toor's report, Acer, Toshiba and Apple dominated direct sales to the education sector with Ipex and Dell the top direct sellers in the government and corporate sectors.