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Biz Purchases Drive Q4 PC Market

2/19/2003 11:53:00 AM Eastern

San Jose, Calif. - U.S. corporate PC purchases drove computer shipment figures for the fourth quarter 2002, a possible indicator that this long stagnant sector is set to make a comeback, according to a Gartner Dataquest report.

Corporations with 500 or more employees were primarily responsible for the increase by increasing purchases by 13.9 percent. Firms with less than 500 also lent a hand by increasing purchases 5.4 percent. These purchases boosted U.S. PC shipments by 7.8 percent for the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2001.

'PC vendors should recognize the potential for growth in the U.S. business market for PCs and should remember that the poor economy will still affect the market,' said Gartner analyst Charles Smulders.

This is the first time since early 2001 that business customers posted an increase in sales, Gartner said. Consumer sales have been the mainstay for PC vendors during the past few years, but this might be changing.

The report gave three potential reasons for the pick up in business sales. Company purchasing agents could simply have been spending the remainder of their budget as the year closed or that they were holding off any purchases due to the sluggish economy. The third possibility is that their current systems have reached the end of their lifecycles and must be replaced or face the pay high maintenance bills.

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