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IDC Forecasts A Down Year For PCs

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. — International Data Corp. has downgraded its U.S. PC shipment forecast for 2001 and now expects the category to decline 6.3 percent instead of posting a marginal 2.2 percent increase.

If IDC’s prediction holds true it will be the first time the U.S. PC market has shrunk.

IDC’s Roger Kay, client computing director, based this revision on the idea that U.S. PC sales will drop about 17 percent based on the presumption that the economy will remain at its current low level of activity. The sales fall off will not be helped by the normal holiday selling season boost this category traditionally experiences.

IDC’s long term forecast is brighter. The firm expects PC shipments to be on the plus side in 2002 when 47.3 million PCs are expected to ship, up 4.6 percent over 2001. Double-digit growth is expected to return in 2003 when an anticipated 54.1 million units ship, a 14.2 percent jump over 2002. For 2004 and 2005 the category will settle back down with growth expected to hover between 7.5 percent and 4.5 percent.

IDC also said Hewlett-Packard has become the U.S. and worldwide leader in home PC sales, knocking Compaq out of the top spot for the first time. In the first quarter of 2001 HP sold 953,000 PCs to Compaq’s 857,000, giving the Palo Alto, Calif., computer maker 10.3 percent worldwide market to Compaq’s 9.3 percent. Gateway took third place with a 6.7 percent share, Fujitsu-Siemans was forth with 5.2 percent and Dell was fifth with 4.8 percent.