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Big switch from desktops to laptops in Q3 channel

Volume sales of notebooks through Western Europe’s largest distributors increased by +40% year-on-year in Q3 2020 as demand for remote-working solutions, e-learning devices and home-entertainment systems remained high in light of the current pandemic, says researcher CONTEXT.

Notebook sales to commercial channels, including corporate resellers, small and medium resellers and business e-tailers, were up by +35% as business organisations and the public sector continued to invest in devices for working remotely, and demand from the education sector remained high. Volume sales of desktops were down by -22% year-on-year during the quarter, although this represented a softer decline than the -28% drop registered in Q2.

Mobile sales to consumer channels – including retailers and consumer e-tailers – grew by an even stronger +47%; clearly, with Covid infection rates rising again and many countries facing the threat of new lockdowns, home users have increased their spending on new IT to make sure there are enough devices per family for e-learning and gaming.

All of the top Western European countries posted healthy notebook sales in Q3 2020, although the individual growth rates varied. Italy led the country ranking in terms of year-on-year growth with an increase of +85%, followed by Spain (+52%), the UK (+46%), Germany (+41%) and France (+41%).

“The high level of demand for mobile devices has led to a significant reduction in notebook stock across most Western European countries - particularly in the entry-level segment, which caters for the budget-conscious education, public administration and home-learning sectors”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at CONTEXT. “While demand for notebooks is expected to stay healthy for the remainder of 2020 and growth rates should be strong, the year-on-year performances in individual segments could be impacted by low product availability.”