Gartner has released its figures for PC sales in the fourth quarter of 2001, confirming that sales increased compared to the third quarter of 2001.
However, there was a marked difference between the findings of Gartner and IDC when comparing the fourth quarter of 2001 with the corresponding quarter in 2000.
IDC's results, reported in January, suggested the 2001 Q4 figures were down 5.8 per cent on the previous year. Gartner on the other hand, said Q4 in 2001 was a 5.9 per cent improvement on Q4 2000.
Andy Woo, PC analyst for Gartner, was not keen to comment on the discrepancy between the two analysts' figures, saying only that he was very confident the Gartner figures were correct.
"The PC market in Australia is still fundamentally weak," he said. "As a result of the current business climate, end users are extending the use of PCs longer than ever before."
Woo said there were some encouraging trends for the PC market, with education and government sales increasing significantly. White-box sales were again on the up, along with consumer sentiment.
Resellers and vendors have a lot more difficulty winning over the educated PC customer, according to Woo. He believes home users are spending more of their disposable income on game consoles and other digital devices rather than personal computers.
Despite losing market share, Compaq still sold more PCs than its rivals in the fourth quarter of 2001, ahead of Dell and Hewlett-Packard. IBM's share dropped by 30 per cent after it dropped out of the consumer market, with Toshiba and Apple filling the fifth and sixth positions.