Next Byte hits top 100
Apple reseller Next Byte has been awarded 13th position in this year's Business Review Weekly top 100 list of Australia's fastest-growing private SME companies. Founded in Adelaide in 1995, Next Byte started out with two staff and one shop. It is now Australia's number-one Mac reseller, with 10 stores around the country and 70 staff. The BRW ranking marks the end of a successful year for Next Byte, which saw it awarded Reseller of the Year 2002 by Apple and the opening of new stores in Sydney CBD, Adelaide CBD and Perth.
Economy curbs PC recovery
Worldwide PC shipments for 2002 and 2003 will rise, but lack of compelling technologies and worries about the economy are causing users to hang on to their older computers, putting a damper on an industry recovery, according to market research company Dataquest. PC shipments will reach 127.3 million units this year, up 1.8 per cent from last year, Dataquest said. Next year, PC shipments are forecast to grow 7 per cent. "The PCs bought during the year 2000 buying binge are due to be replaced," said Dataquest principal analyst George Shiffler, "but users may be hanging on to them longer than they normally would because they are worried about the economy."
IBM enters handheld space
Shunning the two largest handheld platforms, Palm and Pocket PC, IBM has inked a deal with Sharp to create a new version of Sharp's Linux-based Zaurus handheld, to be named the Enterprise Edition Zaurus. The agreement furthers the strategic direction of IBM, company officials said, as it brings a handheld device into the IBM pervasive computing initiative. However, one industry analyst said that eventually IBM will have to support other platforms. "If they are serious about being a pervasive computing supplier, they will have to embrace Palm and Pocket PC," said Gerry Purdy, principal analyst with MobileTrax.