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PC industry optimism at ‘five year high’

Has Deloitte and Touche gone mad?

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What has Deloitte & Touche been drinking? The publicity happy accountancy firm claims that short-term optimism for the PC industry is at a five-year high, At the same time, D&T tells us that "customers hold the power". This is enough to make any self-respecting PC builder feel very miserable indeed. Basing its analysis on 1998's fourth quarter, D&T pronounces the biggest winners are companies that can come up with "unique sales and margin strategies". This management consultancy insight will be most useful to Europe's 40,000 or so system builders. Demands of business and consumer PC buyers will drive the industry forward, according to the PC Critical Industry Trend Evaluator (PC-CITE) report. Far from the doom and gloom of many predictions for the industry, the feelgood survey says PC buyers are grasping new products in record numbers. "Our PC-CITE report indicates that the market is optimistic about the future of the industry," said Charles Goldenberg, partner in Deloitte Consulting's High Technology Group in San Francisco, California. "Despite recent announcements that selected PC makers' shipments are decreasing, business and consumer PC buyers alike are bullish about new technologies," he added. The report also indicates that expectations for long-term returns on future investment are increasing. But Goldenberg had bad news for manufacturers. He said vendors must be more aggressive in finding ways to cut costs in preparation for the next threshold of price declines -- the sub-$500 PC. These methods included less expensive materials, lower manufacturing costs and economies of scale. The Register anticipates record PC builder failures this year. For what it's worth. ®

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