The regular and dramatic spike in sales that resellers generally expect over the Christmas period will be missing this December, according to channel research company Inform.
Inform's statistics show that resellers had a bumper month in August, compared to July's figures, but the rise in consumer spending is expected to be short-lived.
Citing the "uncertainty created from recent world events", Inform senior research analyst Hakan Alac said many businesses are deferring any technology or infrastructure purchasing decisions, and he expects PC resellers to be hardest hit.
"The PC market will undoubtedly flat-line for the next 6-12 months and the usual cyclical fluctuations, like Christmas and end-of-financial-year spending, will be far less dramatic than we are used to," he said.
Many resellers are banking on Christmas to see a boost in PC sales, but according to Alac its impact is likely to be minimal. To make matters worse, he believes there are no major releases of software or hardware products on the horizon that might encourage users to upgrade.
"The release of Windows XP will have a minimal effect on PC sales, and the days when a new release of Windows saw a massive increase in PC upgrading are, at this stage, long gone," he said.
Nor does Alac consider the processor race to be spurring on PC upgrades. "It seems current hardware performances are sufficient," he said.
According to Inform figures, indirect PC sales in August were up 9 per cent on July across all range of hardware. The price of desktops rose during the period and the price of notebooks fell.
Compaq continues to lead the market with 23 per cent indirect PC sales, despite a slight drop in market share. Hewlett-Packard's sales rose by 22 per cent giving it a 17 per cent share of the market, and IBM's sales rose by 31 per cent on June so that it now holds a 14 per cent market share.