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PC bigwigs eye US white box market

20pc+ of US PC sales

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No-brand/lo-brand system builders shipped 21 per cent of all PCs sold in the US in Q1, 2001. The value of these so-called white box sales were $4.5 billion, according to IDC.

And white box sales are particularly strong among small and medium businesses, perhaps the last fast-growth sector for PC sales in the US. Also the home market is receptive too to white box sales.

US White box share by sector, Q1, 2001 - IDC


  • small business (<10 employees) 32.5%

  • medium business 31.5%

  • home 29%


Clearly, big brand PC makers are eyeing this business, especially when their sales have stalled.

According to IDC, "the white box market may well be the next competitive frontier". But incumbent system builders will be no push-over.

"As the major players start moving in the white box direction, it's important to understand whether price-aggressive industry heavyweights will shrink the ranks of white box suppliers and resellers. However, the white box market may be so diverse that it will continue to grow, largely sheltered from bigger market forces," said Roger Kay, director of IDC's Client Computing research. "Depending on industry positioning, the white box segment could represent a competitive threat or a major opportunity." ®

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