The 15 per cent rise which bought PC sales back from the brink in October last year is waning and vendors are getting edgy as warehouses back up.
Laurie White, product marketing manager for Toshiba Australia, reports PC sales are experiencing a "weird post-GST downturn that we can't quite put our finger on."
"We think it's a combination of market factors because it's a worldwide trend, which is why we're not pinning it down to just GST."
"In the US now the market's slowed considerably. The end result is already manifesting itself with Compaq, IBM and us [Toshiba] all carrying significant inventories overseas. It's not dramatic but I think everyone's agreeing that things are a little damp."
According to Inform analyst Chris Hebert, PC sales experienced a savage 24 per cent drop between June and July after an 18 per cent spike leading up to the introduction of the GST. By November, sales were 30 per cent down on January in both the notebook and desktop market.
Many theories are being thrown up, including the savage local exchange rate and increased spending by businesses gearing-up for GST and/or the Olympics, which has dried up the IT department coffers.
Despite this, Derek Merdith, managing director of Laptop Land, says retail saw a very strong last two quarters. "December went very quiet, as people appeared to take earlier and longer holidays than usual. It's nothing to worry about though, as already things are starting to pick up and we expect February/March to be strong," he says.
Laptop Land MD Derek Merdith.