Back in the nineties, computer companies were opening up all over the place and everyone seemed to know someone who was working in the UK system building industry. Now things are very different. As news of a spate of closures reaches KitGuru, we look around to see who’s fallen and who is still alive.
Speaking with the experts at IDC research, it’s easy to see where the pressure is coming from on the UK system builder market. The drop in shipments, from the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, was enormous.
How big is ‘enormous’ ?
Well, for the mini-Tower PC market, the drop was over 40%. For every 100 mini-Tower PCs built and shipped by UK companies in the first 3 months of 2010, around 60 were shipped in the same period for 2011.
Alongside the smaller companies like OP3, we also understand that several larger companies have experienced difficulties, including:-
The combined UK customer base for these organisations (i.e. people still under warranty) will be several hundred thousand, so it could be tough times ahead for those that need support. Each situation will be different, but it’s certainly a challenge that most people will not want these days.
Looking at the kind of company that’s experiencing issues, the majority seem to be selling ‘middle of the road’ systems, with very little differentiation.
Companies like Cryo, Scan and YOYOTech (all of whom work hard to stylise/customise systems for individual users – with a strong emphasis on support and customer service) are all doing well.
KitGuru says: The old adage seems to be holding true. In the tough modern world of system sales, you must choose to get big, get specialised or get out. We will update you as we hear more about the companies mentioned here – and several others that we understand are experiencing difficulties. Similarly, if any of the companies listed here want to update us, then please do so and we will make sure our readers know what’s going on. If you are a KitGuru reader in the market for a brand new system, then the better the specialist store you choose – the happier your experience is likely to be.
Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.