The number of tablet computers that will be bought in the Republic of Ireland this year will reach 130,000 from 37,000 last year. Meanwhile personal computer sales are expected to be down considerably, an IDC spokesperson told Silicon Republic.
IDC analyst Eszter Morvay explained that the increased variety of tablet devices beyond Apple’s iPad will play a considerable role in the increase.
“2010 was dominated by one player although we did see movement in Q4 by Samsung. However, the Galaxy Tab was not successful in Europe, the 7-inch format is not popular in Europe and was considered over-priced.
“However, 2011 has seen the arrival of the second generation iPad, the iPad 2, as well as new products from various manufacturers including Motorola, LG, HTC and Acer.”
Morvay said that appetite for tablets was contributing to the overall decline in PC sales, but it wasn’t the overall factor.
Some 561,000 personal computers were sold in Ireland last year out of which 280,000 were bought by the commercial sector and 282,000 were bought by consumers.
However, for the first half of 2011 only 240,000 have been bought across the board and if the trend continues sales of PCs could come in at less than 500,000 units sold in 2011.
“Other markets throughout the financial crisis that began in 2008 and 2009 were saved by the large momentum of PC renewals in the commercial sector. However, that wasn’t the case for Ireland,” Morvay said.
“Other markets in Europe benefited from the telecoms channel selling PCs and netbook devices during those years and they succeeded in shifting significant volume. But that didn’t happen in Ireland.
The western European PC market declined 8.9pc in the second quarter over the year before due to weak consumer demand and the popularity of smartphones and media tablets.
“The reason why we’re seeing a massive decline in the rest of Europe is tablet momentum. In Ireland, however, the consumer market is less influenced by tablet hype but more by the economic situation.
“If you look at the growth rate for H1 of this year, there is indeed a continuing decline in the consumer space and we expect this to continue in H2.
“However, for the commercial sector there are some good trends. Many renewals were postponed in 2008 and 2009 and many SMBs went bankrupt. But in 2010 and 2011 enterprise renewals have returned.
“Multinational investment deals have had a positive impact on computer sales in Ireland and a host of American and international companies are driving a lot of the renewals.
“In 2010 we saw some movement in the education sector driven by the Government’s decision to equip schools with equipment and the market began to benefit. But this year we haven’t seen the boost continue because of the way the programme was arranged. The schools receive the money to buy the computers and then decide when to buy. There is no centralised buying of computers for schools which is a factor,” Morvay said.