By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Personal Computer sales have bucked the trend of decreased sales values in consumer electronics over the year, according to the most recent Canon Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index (CDLI), released yesterday.

The CDLI, which tracks sales trends in 13 key consumer electronics categories, reports that PCs were the only category to see an increase in sales value in the second half of 2010. Half-year on half-year, PC sales value rose from $782 million to $806 million – an increase of just over 3 per cent.

In terms of unit sales, PCs saw the second highest jump with an increase of 24 per cent, from 712,000 to 883,000, running only behind personal video recorders.

The CDLI noted that this growth was “was especially impressive considering the existing household penetration of these products – illustrating the appetite Australians continue to have, not only for owning digital products, but also for upgrading their digital lifestyle experience.”

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While consumers are still buying new computers, many are upgrading from an existing model, with 44 per cent of consumers buying a PC within two years of their last purchase according to the report. Furthermore, 30 per cent of computer sales were to customers purchasing a second PC for their home.

The positive sales results in PCs stand in stark contrast to the other categories of consumer electronics, which experienced a significant decline in sales value. The CDLI notes that “although Australians purchased just as many digital devices in [the second half of] 2010 as they did in [the second half of] 2009, the total value of the products covered in the Canon CDLI fell by over half a billion dollars ($546 million, -13.3%).”

Australians are buying the same number of products but they’re buying them for a reduced cost, which indicates that the decline in revenue is due to price discounting rather than decreased unit sales.