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Distributors Keeping PC Inventories Tight

El Segundo, Calif. — Computer distributors are keeping very few PC in inventory in response to slowing sales in the category, said IHS iSuppli .

IHS said the slim inventory levels, which were in the 30-day range during the fourth quarter, are in direct response to increased consumer demand for smartphones and tablets at the expense of the computer market.

Manufacturers and “distributors are striving to keep a minimal amount of computers in stock partly because once-dominant PCs have now been upstaged in the minds of consumers by mobile devices like smartphones and tablets,” said Sharon Stiefel, analyst for semiconductor market intelligence at IHS.

“Global PC shipments fell last year for the first time in 10 years, while shipments of smartphones and tablets continued to boom. Because of this, companies are attempting to minimize future risk by keeping inventories of unsold products at low levels,” she noted.