Study: Barring War, PC Sales Will Rebound

By Agence France-Presse The sluggish global market for personal computers appears poised for a rebound in 2003 but is being held in check by concerns over war with Iraq, according to a survey released Feb. 18. Gartner Dataquest, a global research firm, predicts that worldwide PC shipments will rise 4.8% in the first quarter before ramping up toward the end of the year. Overall, the firm predicts 2003 sales of 138.7 million units, a 7.9% increase from 2002, but notes that economic recovery and a possible war with Iraq may affect the industry. "In 2003, the outcome of the U.S.-Iraq confrontation will be the key factor influencing the timing of an economic recovery and that timing, in turn, will impact PC sales," says George Shiffler, analyst for Gartner Dataquest's computing platforms and economics research. Additionally, the PC industry is suffering from the lack of a killer application that will push new and replacement unit sales. "Despite the emergence of some new drivers this quarter, we believe that they are not enough to accelerate PC sales," says Dataquest analyst Kiyomi Yamada. Dataquest says, however, that users eventually will have to replace a large number of aging PCs purchased to address Y2K concerns that are reaching the end of their lives. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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