The Australian PC market will experience a growth downturn, according to figures released last week by IDC Australia.
According to Bernie Esner, IDC's senior analyst, desktop systems, total Australian PC sales will grow 10 per cent this year with 1.7 million units sold. However, Esner expects next year's growth to be more in the vicinity of 8.5 per cent.
"It appears Japan will remain weak while the introduction of the euro will cause some confusion on the world markets. All these things have an influence on PC sales."
Esner also said the method in which PCs are sold is changing under the influence of mass merchants and direct sellers. He predicted global brand names are going to increase their market share next year.
According to IDC figures, international brands climbed from 39 per cent of sales in 1994 to 51.4 per cent in 1997. "As the whole market grows, those big global players grab more mindshare through increased advertising," Esner said.
Additionally, Esner said the white box, or clone manufacturers, have been able to maintain their market share at about 33 per cent over the same period.
Facing the squeeze
"That will probably be maintained, meaning local brand manufacturers are facing the squeeze from both sides."
In review, Compaq was the big mover in PC sales as a result of its merger with Digital. Hewlett-Packard and Dell also increased their market share, with the latter "definitely starting to make an impact in Australia", according to Esner.
"Dell secured 5.6 per cent of PC sales in the third quarter and are doing even better in Q4."