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AMD K6-2 dominates retail PC market

And Apple showed the highest unit growth

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Unit sales of PCs through the US' retail and mail order channels increased 20.6 per cent last month, according to the latest figures from market researcher PC Data. But while sales were up, vendors found revenues fell, dropping 2.2 per cent on the same period last year, as average prices fell 19 per cent to $928. In fact, sales of sub-$1000 PCs doubled year-on-year, to command 71 per cent of the retail market. On the Wintel front, AMD K6-2-based machines dominated the sector, taking 40 per cent of the market. AMD's overall share was 40.5 per cent, suggesting the K6-III has yet to make an impact. And that figure is down a touch on it March share of 41.4 per cent. Still, as PC Data pointed out, the fact that Intel's overall share is down to 53.2 per cent from the 72 per cent it notched up in April 1998, is good news for AMD. Of Intel's processors, Celeron CPU accounted for 28.2 per cent of the market, up from 19.2 per cent in March. Pentium III machines took a 7.8 per cent market share, up from 6.7 per cent in March. Taking a look at vendors, Apple proved to have the strongest growth through the US retail channel. It more than doubled the number of machines shipped year-on-year, almost all of it down to the iMac, launched last August. That pushed the company into the top three best-selling vendor list, below market leader Compaq and Hewlett-Packard. Compaq's unit shipments grew just 13 per cent, well behind HP's just under 200 per cent increase. Machines from both companies dominated the top five best-selling PCs list, pushing the iMac out of the list. It's worth noting that the most expensive machine in the top five costs $950, the cheapest just $521. All three top-selling vendors' average prices, according to PC Data's figures, were above that maximum, particularly Apple's. Indeed the better-selling iMacs were actually older, cheaper models. That suggests Apple may well experience difficulties when the channel finally rids itself of old iMacs that Apple is no longer producing, unless it cuts prices by a couple of hundred dollars or more. Which, of course, it won't until the channel is clear of the older machines. ®

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