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PC Shipments Slow As Expected; Digicams On Upswing

1/29/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK - While PC companies and industry analysts are de-emphasizing the PC's traditional place in consumers' eyes, the Consumer Electronics Association is calling for the category to keep growing, albeit at a modest pace.

The CEA 1999-2001 sales outlook estimates 16.4 million PCs will have shipped in 2000, up 1.5 million units from 1999. However, that level of growth will slow, and the CEA is forecasting only 17.5 million to ship during 2001.

In the past few months, every major PC vendor has predicted a substantial sales slowdown in the PC market, citing the fact that it has become a mature market and that consumers are spending their discretionary income on such products as PDAs and MP3 players.

"Fears about the slowing U.S. economy clearly cut consumer demand in the latter half of the final quarter in 2000," said Roger Kay, manager of IDC's PC program. "Moreover, a lack of compelling reasons to buy kept the commercial segment from making up the difference."

Average unit prices for PCs also continued their slow decline in 2000, dropping 5 percent to finally hit the $1,000 mark. Another $50 is expected to be shaved off the average price this year, the CEA said.

Digital still camera sales are the hottest category, according to the CEA report, with unit shipments expected to exceed 6.4 million this year, up from 4.7 million in 2000 and 2.1 million in 1999. Average unit price erosion will continue, although at a slower pace then in previous years. In 2001 prices will hit $455, down from $490 the previous year and $571 in 1999

Aftermarket modem sales are expected to grow, jumping from the 11.5 million shipped in 2000 to 12.5 million expected to ship this year. Conversely, printer sales will continue to experience the same huge increases that saw shipments go from 15 million in 1999 to an estimated 17.4 million in 2000 to about 20 million this year.

The CEA expects average printer unit prices to remain strong and dip just 5 percent this year to $279, despite the huge growth the category has seen in the $100 price range. The average cost of a modem is expected to drop a fraction this year to $130, from $136 in 2000.

Aftermarket monitor sales will continue their flat performance, with unit shipments this year barely fluctuating above the 4.4 million posted in 2000, the CEA reported.

Software shipments showed a hefty 10 percent increase in factory value this year, although the association did not provide figures on the number of titles shipped or average price. The factory value for all software will surpass $5.7 billion this year.

The fax machine category continued its slow decline, with the CEA expecting the number of units shipped to fall to 2.5 million this year. The previous two years saw the number of faxes shipped go from just over 3 million in 1999 to an estimated 2.7 million in 2000.

However, the average unit price for these devices has not fallen off at the same pace, and the average fax machine now sells for about $136, down about 5 percent from 2000.

The electric typewriter market will ship less than a million units for the first time in ages. CEA forecasts 930,000 units to ship in 2001, down from 1.2 million in 2000. Average unit price is expected to drop 10 percent between 2000 and 2001.


CEA 1999-2001 Home Office, Computer & Multimedia Sales Outlook / Units in 1,000s; $ value in millions


1999 Actual Unit Sales

Factory $ Value

Average $ Price

2000 Estimate Unit Sales

Factory $ Value

Average $ Price

2001 Forecast Unit Sales

Factory $ Value

Average $ Price

Home computers*

14,900

16,390

1,100

16,400

16,400

1,000

17,500

16,625

950

TV/PC combos

140

357

2,550

150

357

2,163

173

382

2,038

PC printers*

15,000

4,500

300

17,400

5,116

294

20,000

4,829

279

Aftermarket monitors*

4,100

1,148

280

4,460

1,224

274

4,820

1,208

261

Modems/fax modems*

10,500

1,460

139

11,500

1,564

136

12,500

1,365

130

Other PC peripherals*

--

1,950

--

--

2,150

--

--

2,365

--

Computer software*

--

4,480

--

--

5,062

--

--

5,771

--

Electric typewriters**

1,550

240

155

1,240

173

140

930

117

126

Fax Machines*

3,010

455

151

2,700

387

143

2,565

350

136

*Sales through consumer channels.

**Includes personal word processors.

Source: CEA

cTWICE 2001




CEA 1999-2001 Home Office, Computer & Multimedia Percent Change


% Change 2000/1999

Unit Sales

Factory $ Value

$ Average Price

% Change 2001/2000

Unit Sales

Factory $ Value

Average $ Price

Home computers*

10.1%

0.1%

-9.1%

6.7%

1.4%

-5.0%

TV/PC combos

7.1

0.0

-15.2

15.3

7.0

-5.8

PC printers*

16.0

13.7

-2.0

14.9

-5.6

-5.1

Aftermarket monitors*

8.8

6.6

-2.1

8.1

-1.3

-4.7

Modems/fax modems*

9.5

7.1

-2.2

8.7

-12.7

-4.4

Other PC peripherals*

--

10.3

--

__

10.0

__

Computer software*

--

13.0

--

__

14.0

__

Electric typewriters**

-20.0

-27.9

-9.7

-25.0

-32.4

-10.0

Fax machines*

-10.3

-14.9

-5.3

-5.0

-9.6

-4.9

*Sales through consumer channels

**Includes personal word processors

Source: CEA

cTWICE 2001



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