New channels of distribution is just one reason the Australian PC industry has had "profound changes" in the past 12 months, according to IDC's latest report.
Bernie Esner, IDC's senior PC analyst, also said an increase in direct sales had affected the channel. Esner includes Dell and Gateway in the direct category, but also shopfronts like MicroArts and APT, in addition to other sales methods like telemarketing, direct marketing and outsourcing.
The report, The Australian Personal Computer Market, Review and Forecast 1997-2002, also referred to the restructuring of the main players in the market as a reason for changes in the channel.
Other key influences in the market have been the rise of low-cost consumer PCs and the release of new microprocessors and models, Esner said.
After years of double digit growth, the total PC market growth in 1997 was 9.1 per cent, with shipments increasing by 126,230 units. "Generally speaking the market life cycle is slowing but this is still a significant increase over 1996," Esner noted.
Esner says the slowdown is even starker when examined in value terms. With the average price of PCs expected to drop significantly this year, IDC is forecasting a 12.8 per cent decrease in the overall value of the industry in 1998. The value for 1997 was up slightly from 1996 due to changes in product mixes and form factors.