The computer market in Poland is a highly saturated market, which causes the sales of this type of equipment to decrease year on year. However, 2019 brought a slight shift in the market towards stabilisation – the decline in computer sales slowed down to 4% from 10% in 2018. The main reason is the shift of users to Windows 10. In 2020, the market will be revived to some extent by the COVID-19 crisis.
Slowing down the decline in computer sales
The computer market in Poland is a highly saturated market, which significantly limits consumer demand (B2C and B2B channels), which at this point in time essentially boils down to cyclical hardware replacement. The computer market in Poland has long been in recession. The perspective of the past years is, among other things, inflation of the market, extended life span of computers, two-digit drop in sales of tablets replaced by smartphones or stagnation on the market of public tenders and limited hardware replacement in companies.
However, 2019 brought a slight market shift towards stabilisation. PMR estimates that last year the decline in computer sales slowed down to 4% compared to 10% in 2018. The main reason for this is the better mood in both the desktop and laptop segments due to the ending of support for Windows 7 and the consequent transition to Windows 10. This translates into additional market demand. It is worth noting that in these conditions the replacement of equipment took place mainly in the B2B segment. The transition to Windows 10 is much slower for individual consumers. Windows 7 is no longer supported by security updates from 14 January 2020.
COVID-19 crisis: one-off injection into the market
In the first half of 2020, we can observe an increase in sales of computers (notebooks and desktops) on the Polish market due to a further shift to Windows 10 and the COVID-19 pandemic, which paradoxically revived the market to some extent. The need to adapt to the new situation – remote work and education forced the Poles to purchase new equipment. Besides, the government’s Digital School project (financed from the Digital Poland Operational Programme) is is also a plus on the market. Under the project, PLN 180 and 186m were allocated in two tranches each for the purchase of computer equipment for students and teachers, including desktops and laptops. However, the purchase of computers in connection with the COVID-19 crisis is a one-off injection into the market. In terms of the whole year 2020, the market should see a further decline, but in PMR’s opinion it is likely to be slightly smaller than last year.
Computer market: segments with a growing trend
On the other hand, there are still areas in the computer market that tend to grow. PMR sees new growth potential in notebook sales. Product segments that may reverse the market situation are, for example, computers equipped with e.g. flash drives, i.e. only SSDs, or hybrid drives, ultrabooks and gaming computers (also stable interest in the case of desktop computers). The sales volumes of these hardware categories are currently in a stable-growth trend.