Upgrade delays lead to sluggish sales for PC makers

IT departments are continuing to stall PC upgrade cycles, according to the latest figures on hardware sales, writes Karl Cushing.

IT departments are continuing to stall PC upgrade cycles, according to the latest figures on hardware sales, writes Karl Cushing.

The hard-hit PC market in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region grew by 6% in the fourth quarter of 2002 and just 3% overall for the year, according to analyst firm Gartner Dataquest.

The modest fourth-quarter growth capped a better second half of the year for suppliers, driven by demand for mobile PCs. Corporate PC purchases remained slow during the quarter, however.

Although shipment volumes in Western Europe have now returned to 2000 levels, Gartner Dataquest does not expect the upward trend to continue. It forecast steady growth levels of 6%-7% for 2003 as organisations continue to sweat their PC assets.

Suppliers had mixed fortunes. Year-on-year growth of 20% saw Acer overtake IBM to become the fourth largest player in the market. Dell also outstripped the market, with growth of 8.7%. The biggest losers were IBM and Hewlett-Packard, which saw shipments fall by 11.1% and 7.5% respectively.

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