PC sales may slow by year's end

PC sales may slow by year's end

While PC sales are expected to remain strong until the end of September, a possible corporate lockdown on information technology spending threatens to quash new PC installations during the fourth quarter, a research firm said this week.

The report, from Cahners In-Stat Group in Massachusetts, said the slowdown would be bad news for PC makers and other manufacturers, but it stressed that the stall in PC shipments would be short-lived. Cahners In-Stat, which tracks the high-tech market, predicted that the lion's share of related new system purchases and installations -- particularly those at large companies -- would be completed before October.

In its annual forecast for PC shipments, the company put growth at 12.2 per cent for 1999. Quarterly growth of total worldwide PC units is expected to slow substantially from 16.96 per cent in the third quarter to 7.59 per cent by year's end, the report added.

"The decrease in consumer PC prices, complemented by ever-increasing price/performance ratios, will continue to drive market conditions," the report said. "State-of-the-art PC technology will continue to be a necessary but insufficient element of this marketplace. Market strategies will determine market position and profitability."

For 1999, total annual worldwide PC shipments are expected to rise to 108 million units, up 12.2 per cent from the year before.

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