The United Kingdom is a technically sophisticated market and there is healthy
competition between the major U.S. computer manufacturers and UK and third country
competitors. In several key segments, the UK is the international market leader. For
instance, Symbian is leading the way in next generation embedded operating systems.
The PC sector has enjoyed particular growth in recent years. The key drivers in this
case are the rapid development of broadband services and the increasing adoption of
imaging technologies. The surge in popularity of digital imaging is also driving a thriving
market in digital data storage devices. These range from flash memory cards to RAM
and hard disk storage (both internal and external via USB, FireWire and SATA).
Increased sales of portable PCs are also fuelling demand for wireless capabilities –
802.11, Bluetooth, and cellular mobile data access (GPRS & 3G). The demand for
greater access and flexibility is in turn driving the growth in remote access technologies
such as VPN’s and the security solutions to protect them.
A considerable amount of computer equipment is transshipped through the UK, resulting
in export figures exceeding local production.
As a result of a slowing economy, we expect both businesses and consumers to tighten
their belts resulting in little or no growth in this sector in 2008.
WiFi and Bluetooth products – Consumers are increasingly using Bluetooth to expand
the connectivity of their computer systems. Printing, storage and modem connectivity
appear to be the most active market sub-sectors.
USB & Flash memory devices – UK consumers are buying increasing numbers of USB
and flash memory devices to facilitate data storage and transfer. In many cases they
are used exclusively in place of CD-ROM, DVD or floppy disks.
Mobile computing devices – The market in PDA’s, Smartphones and MP3/Data storage
solutions is expanding rapidly.
VOIP – The major players - i.e. Vonage, MSN and Skype - are very actively creating a
market for VOIP services. Companies supplying the peripherals or competing products
should find a receptive market.
Security – security products that enhance network and workstation security are likely to
do well, as surveys suggest that IT security is still an issue for many businesses,
particularly small and medium sized enterprises.
Note: Assuming equipment meets IEEE published standards, CE marking is likely to be
the only regulatory requirement for consumer sales.