San Jose, Calif. - Bargain hunting consumers are giving the PC market its long-awaited boost with the research firm International Data Corp. expecting PC shipments to reach record levels in 2003 and 2004.
IDC, based here, said worldwide PC shipments for 2003 and 2004 will jump to 152.6 million and 169.9 million, respectively. If this figure is reached it will surpass the record 140 million computers shipped in 2000. This represents a major turnaround for the computer industry, which had endured flat sales for the past two years. After 2000 worldwide shipments fell to 134.7 million and 136.9 million the following two years. The U.S. market did not fare any better with shipments tailing off from 52 million in 2000 to 46.1 million and 47.6 million in 2001 and 2002.
In the U.S. market shipments of 52.9 million are expected for 2003 and 59.9 million next year. Roger Kay, IDC’s vice president of client computing, said consumers are driving this recover, although heavy buying by the U.S. government is also helping. Overall 20.3 million computers will ship to consumers in 2003. This will increase to 22 million next year. The commercial segment will comprise a larger chunk of the pie in 2004 when shipments increase from 32.7 million to 37.5 million.
The bargain basement pricing and plethora of entry-level configurations being offered by vendors that is drawing in consumers is having a negative impact on the total value of the computers, IDC reported. The $175 billion that the 2003 computer shipments will bring is 22 percent less then what was made when the previous record was set in 2000. This will change slightly in 2004 when total value is forecasted by IDC to increase 4 percent.