Forecast Anticipates No Short-Term Relief For PC Market

Don't expect an uptick in the international consumer market for personal computers until mid to late 2002 - and make that 2003 for the U.S. market, says market research firm IDC. The Framingham, Mass.-based firm offered its projections for 2002 and 2003 at the same time it revised its growth forecast for the consumer PC market in 2001 to an expected decline of nearly 10% compared with the previous year. IDC said falling consumer demand in both the United States and Japan was the basis for revising its forecast to an expected decline of 9.6% worldwide. It had earlier forecast -0.2% growth in 2001. "For most consumers, a new PC is a very large discretionary purchase," says Roger Kay, director of client computing at IDC. "And that's for new users. When it comes to replacing a system that probably meets a user's basic needs, it's an extremely tough sell in these economic times." IDC says consumer PC shipments in the U.S. are expected to drop 25% in 2001, while flat consumer shipment growth is anticipated internationally. On the commercial side, PC shipment growth also is headed down. Worldwide growth is projected to fall from 10.5% in 2000 to 3.2% in 2001. In the U.S., the market is expected to contract by 5.2% in 2001. This compares with a 6.1% growth rate in 2000.

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