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Sub-$600 PCs see massive growth

Latest PC Data stats show sales of ultra-cheap PCs have grown 657 per cent

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Budget PC maker eMachines' cut-price computer policy is clearly working -- according to market researcher PC Data, the company grabbed a 9.9 per cent share of the US computer retail sector in February. That figure makes it the fourth best-selling vendor behind Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. Their shares of the US PC retail market were 30.9 per cent, 28.9 per cent and 10.7 per cent, respectively. Packard Bell/NEC came fifth in the list with a 7.5 per cent market share, PC Data's research showed. According to the researcher, the average price of a PC in February in the US was $947, up a fraction from January's figure of $944. eMachines' offerings all come in under $600, a sector that is rapidly stealing business from the $600-$1000 range. Some 62 per cent of PCs sold last month through US retail outlets were in the sub-$1000 category -- and 32 per cent of those were priced at less than $600, or 19.9 per cent of the market as a whole. The $1000-$1500 bracket accounted for 33.3 per cent of the market -- the over-$1500 category accounted for just five per cent, representing a 70 per cent decline on February 1998's figures. ®

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