While PC sales in the fourth quarter of 2001 improved on Q3, the latest figures from IDC suggest personal computers are falling down the list of IT spending priorities.
According to IDC's preliminary figures, 530,000 units were moved in Australia during the fourth quarter. This was a 9.3 per cent increase over the disastrous third quarter, but was down by 5.8 per cent on the same period in 2000.
More alarming for PC resellers is that IT spending is not falling, but remaining steady, according to IDC. Much of the funds previously spent on PCs are now being allocated to the purchase of storage and disaster-recovery products.
Compaq regained the top spot on the vendor list after clearing a backlog of PCs that were choking its channel in Q3. It was closely followed by Dell with its improvements in the education market at the expense of Toshiba, Apple and Acer.
Sales of Hewlett-Packard PCs were also boosted in the consumer sector after IBM pulled out of the market.
IDC analysts said there are no predictable event or product releases expected in 2002 that could have any drastic impact, either positive or negative, on PC sales, concluding that the outlook for Q1 is "not altogether bad".