It is a surprisingly large figure, but there are 222 direct PC vendors in Australia, according to market analyst Inform. What's more, prices for PCs sold by direct dealers and those through the channel are almost identical.
There is often confusion as to what constitutes a third-party reseller and a direct PC vendor in the assembly business. Inform defines a direct PC business as one where 50 per cent or more of its revenue comes from its own badged product.
In its latest industry report, inView, the analyst estimates direct sales account for around 20 to 25 per cent of the Australian market, depending on the time of year.
"It is a fine line, and the vast majority of those classified as direct PC vendors look and act like a typical third-party reseller," the report said. "The only difference is the proportion of business arising from their own badged sales versus third-party product."
Desktop sales make up the majority of the direct PC business. Notebooks, which account for around a quarter of all indirect sales, only constitute 10 per cent of direct sales. Generally, the larger direct vendors tend to take on more notebook sales than smaller system assemblers.
Intel Pentium 4 systems are in 43 per cent of PCs sold by resellers, and nearly 60 per cent of direct systems, according to Inform.