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PC sales to disappoint (even more) in 2002

IDC scales back estimates

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IDC has cut its growth projections for PC sales in 2002 from 4.7 percent down to 1.1 percent, reflecting a continuing slump in hardware spending.

IDC's latest PC survey projects shipments of 135.5 million personal computers in 2002, compared with shipments of 134.1 million in 2001. The US-based technology research firm predicted an 8.4 percent rise in 2003, down from its previous prediction of 11 percent.

IDC has also predicted that end-of-year sales at would be disappointing. The PC industry has traditionally enjoyed a strong fourth quarter, as consumers purchased new PCs during the holiday season.

The PC market, which has often enjoyed double-digit annual growth, shrank last year for the first time since 1985.

At the beginning of the year IDC predicted only a 3.2 percent growth in PC sales figures, but then revised its figures upwards when consumer spending improved during the second quarter. But as the economic slowdown dragged on, consumers in mature economies decided that they did not need to replace old PCs, according to Loren Loverde, head of IDC's PC tracker survey. PC sales during the back-to-school season have also been slow, the company said, and the release of new versions of Windows has failed to significantly boost demand.

The survey found that medium-to-large businesses, which represent about 27 percent of the market, are postponing PC replacements. Consumers meanwhile, who make up about a third of the market, are also reluctant to spend, said Loverde. Meanwhile, small businesses and the public sector have increased spending.

The survey found that PC shipments in Europe and Japan would shrink this year and that the US growth rate would be marginal, at 0.5 percent. Loverde predicted that the real growth would come from emerging economies.

Breaking its results down into segments, the survey predicted that desktop PC sales would fall by 1.6 percent in 2002, while global laptop sales would rise 10.5 percent and server sales would increase by 5.2 percent.

© ENN.

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