Confidence from Channel Partners Involved in PC Resale Fell Sharply in the Fourth Quarter of 2008, IDC’s Channel Panel Finds

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – February 26, 2009 – IDC's Channel Panel found that partners involved in the resale of PCs continue to report lower confidence in their business in the fourth quarter of 2008 (4Q08). The Channel Panel results have shown a steady downward trend in partner confidence for the past few quarters across all technology segments, as the economic environment worsens.

In 4Q08, the PC segment offered a concise view of what partners are reporting in all segments:

* Partners said their business was decreasing more rapidly in 4Q08 than in 3Q08.

* Small partners were hit the hardest and said their business was decreasing more than large and midsized partners.

* Midsized and large partners, which had previously been a bright spot in the segment, both struggled in 4Q08.

"Partner confidence across all technologies tracked in IDC’s Channel Panel fell sharply between Q3 and Q4 2008 as the weakened economy continues to affect IT buying decisions, “said John Grady, research analyst for Hardware Channels at IDC. “In the PC segment even Apple partners, who had reported very strong results for the previous three quarters, were more bearish in Q4."

Key vendor highlights for the fourth quarter of 2008 include the following:

* Apple was again in the best position relative to other vendors overall, but large Apple partners were weak.

* Dell and HP saw similar results overall, but Dell was stronger among large partners and HP was stronger among midsized partners.

IDC's Channel Panel is a quarterly Web-based survey of channel partners that identifies trends in IT channel business. The Channel Panel provides real time data that is available prior to point of sale (POS) data and is a useful device in assisting sales and marketing departments in evaluating programmatic and marketing strategy for product channels. Launched in January 2006, the Channel Panel has averaged over 578 respondents per quarterly survey.

For a copy of IDC's Channel Panel: Q408 Update (Doc #216663), please contact IDC's Sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

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