The Australian PC market is booming, according to an IDC report released last week that predicted the year 2000 will be the first ever to record two million PC shipments.
Although the order of vendors according to volume shipped held no surprises (Compaq, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell), the growth of each of those vendors may signal an end to the old order of things.
Compaq experienced 22.1 per cent growth in the first half of 1999, HP 26.6 per cent, IBM 38.9 per cent and Dell a staggering 58 per cent growth.
"The first half of '99 was high because of traditional factors such as the end of the financial year and edu-cation shipments. "This year also saw Y2K affect PC shipments," said Ringland.
If there was any obvious trend it was the strong growth of Dell and the less robust development of market leaders. In the mobile space Toshiba took a beating, although it still retained the number one spot, with a paltry growth rate of 2.8 per cent per annum in a market moving at 15.5 per cent.
In comparison, Dell again experienced 58 per cent annual growth and IBM 35 per cent. PC servers are the fastest-growing segment in the PC arena, according to Ringland, who attributes the 42.9 per cent growth to small and medium business activity.
"SMEs are starting to see the value of being networked," he explained.
Y2K was once again a hot issue in the PC market. However, IDC is not expecting any serious ramifications on January 1, 2000.
According to Ringland, 40 per cent of Australian businesses have not undertaken any Y2K action. The majority of these are small businesses, with companies of between 250 and 1000 employees rating the millennium bug as their biggest challenge.
"Only 9.8 per cent of all companies expect to freeze spending because of Y2K," said Ringland, although he did clarify that companies would change their spending patterns and avoid big implementations or mission-critical projects.
PC market drivers in 1999
Y2K, especially in the SME space
Intel's response to AMD and the increased competition in the white box marketThe continuing price erosion of processors - by the end of the year there will be 13 Pentium processors on the marketIncreased focus on bundling options, especially for SMEsLower interest rates and a healthy economyChristmas! The silly season is just around the cornerPC market inhibitors in 1999The retail channel is too complicated, making it difficult for consumers to make a choiceIntel's Roadmap will cause stock problemsA shortage of 13.3 inch mobile screensThe release of Internet devices such as Sega's Dreamcast and Sony's PlayStation could move discretionary dollars towards these devicesExcessive stock in the channelThe GST, which provides the perception that PCs will be cheaper after its adoption