Retailers are clearing their shelves of PC inventory to stock up on peripheral devices, following increased sales in what has been a decidedly lacklustre consumer market.
Consumers may not be buying new PCs but they are spending up on gadgets, with retailers such as Harvey Norman reporting increased sales in peripherals. And while many vendors are also battling, companies such as Logitech Australia reported a sales increase of 31 per cent on the same period for the previous year.
"In a quarter which was very tough for most vendors, the first indication for this year is that growth will be even stronger," said Logitech Australia's general manager Marco Manera.
"For a lot of resellers, the immediate objective is to move through the PC inventory and then place more emphasis on their peripherals division, because they are making more sales."
Manera maintains that the peripheral market is the fastest-growing sector at the moment - outselling PC systems, printers and software.
"End users are keeping their old PCs for longer and spending the money they save on their computers. So resellers are faced with two problems - they are selling less PCs and those that they do sell are at lower prices and margins."
Increasingly, therefore, the channel is looking to peripherals to add value and increase margins, he said, adding that growth in cordless products was much higher than other peripherals. Logitech has sold more than seven million products worldwide and four million trackballs worldwide.
To that end, Logitech has just updated its cordless trackball mouse offerings, announcing the release of the Cordless TrackMan FX to retailers.
The mouse design puts the mouse ball under the fingertips, allowing the user greater control of movement of their cursor. Logitech has employed Optical Marble technology in its latest offering, whereby a beam of light inside the mouse tracks any ball movement to give smoother tracking, precision and reduced wear.
The other differentiating factor, according to Logitech, is that the device has no cord. The mouse sends radio signals to a receiver at the back of the PC, allowing the TrackMan FX to sit alone on the desktop without the usual tangle of wires. The receiver uses a USB interface, compatible with both PC and Mac operating systems. The package also includes a PS/2 adapter.
The Cordless TrackMan FX will retail for around $189 and carries a five-year warranty.
"Cordless TrackMan FX underscores Logitech's commitment to bringing pointing devices to market by combining two of our historic strengths - cordless and optical technology," Manera said.
Photograph: Logitech Cordless TrackMan FX