11% Value growth of IT Market in the first Half of 2007

The IT hardware market in the UK has further seen robust growth in the first half of 2007, according to the GfK IT Barometer released today. A total of 11% additional value has been added to the market compared to the previous 1st half of 2006, mainly due to the success of Smart phones, Storage solutions, Mini-Speakers and Mobile PCs.

In the first 6 months of 2007 storage drives hit the £240 million in the business and consumer market. Mini Speakers were worth in H1 2007 a total of £50 million. Mobile PC’s accounts for more than £1,3 billion for respective period.

Key drivers for growth

•Mobile PC & Vista:

Back-bone of the IT market is still the demand for PC’s. According to Anthony Norman, Business Group Director GfK, the trend is sustainable in mobile PC’s. “Currently the notebook market is growing especially on the consumer side”. 68% of all notebooks were demanded by the consumer, additional 5% compared to H1 2006.

Despite the latest discussions regards the success of Vista, there are clears signs that the new operating system has had a positive impact on the market. 82% of all retail sales in H1 07 were Vista or Vista compatible notebook.

Because of higher technology requirements the average selling price in retail did increased by 12% at the beginning of the year and just lost in the recent months about 10% on its Jan07 level to £515. Processing power increased simultaneously, in retail 60% of all consumer notebooks are running at least on a 2 core CPU generation, which makes notebooks faster and more energy efficient.

On the business side the market still has further potentials. Despite a lower penetration of Vista with just 20% adoption, Anthony Norman is convinced that the business segment will also pick up. “Businesses are thinking long-term. The impact & economies are completely different compared to consumer side. It just takes longer until companies migrate their operating system.”

•Hard disk drive storage

User are buying flexible storage because the installed capacity of PC is often very limited. Only 6% of all mobile PC’s have a HDD capacity of 160 GB and more. “In times of multi-media communication this is just not enough”, says Sandra Bayly Storage Analyst at GfK. Particularly external HDD are being used for quick backup and archive purposes.

In the first six months more than 1,8 million internal and external hard drives were shipped in the UK market with a market value of approx. £240 million. In 1st half 2006 the user paid in average 0.64 £/MB, today the economies are declining with is 0.43 £/MB to the benefit of the user. However the industry can look at a growing market segment - external hard disk drives are increasing in by 71 % in value terms.

•Mini Speakers

Multimedia requires audio solutions. Mini Speakers are growing with 43% in value terms on a half year comparison with an impressive £50 million turnover year to date. 1,6 million units have been bought mostly by private users. Previously designed for the PC, Mini Speakers evolved as solution for all sorts of music repositories, such as Mp3 Player and mobile Phones. On the back of the success of ipod, Mini Speakers are celebrating a success with 37 % share purely dedicated for Mp3 use.

Commenting on GfK’s IT Barometer, Anthony Norman, Business Group Director, GfK, said: “We have seen an exciting year so far, which was very consumer oriented. Microsoft’s Vista launch and technology updates from Intel and AMD have helped to drive the market. In the second half there will be further events, like the launch of Apple’s iPhone and increasing use of mobile web which will impact the market“.