PC sales could begin recovery by year's end

During a trip to China to discuss the planned opening of a PC manufacturing plant there, Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell speculated that demand from corporate IT buyers for system upgrades could lead to a buying spree around the first quarter of 2002.

Also Wednesday, Microsoft group vice president Jim Allchin announced the release date for the new Windows XP operating system, pledging that its debut in time for the holiday season would drive consumer sales in the fourth quarter, especially for the Windows XP Home Edition.

"The holiday season is going to be great for the PC industry," Allchin said in a conference call about the release.

Microsoft and many other software and hardware vendors have been cautious about forecasting a recovery for the worldwide PC industry, which slowed to single-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2000. During a conference call 19 April to discuss its third-quarter earnings, Microsoft lowered its expectation for this year's PC sales growth from 10 per cent to about 7 per cent.

"There are some indications that the PC market could be stabilising ... but we are very mindful of the effect a further slowing economy could have on the industry and Microsoft," John Connors, Microsoft's chief financial officer, said at the time.

But that sentiment is beginning to shift.

Dell told reporters Wednesday that his company expects to see a "sequential increase in the first and second quarters of 2002 over this year," as that period marks a logical time for corporate customers to begin replacing computer systems. But he also noted that uncertainties in the economy make it difficult to predict precisely when the recovery will begin.

A Dell spokesman downplayed the CEO's optimism.

"If folks are concluding a prediction about an industry rebound they're reading too far into his comments," said T.R. Reid, a spokesman for Dell. "We have made it very, very plain: We don't know.

"But we do believe it absolutely will rebound," he added. "And we see a variety of things driving demand. Windows XP is one of them."

Research firm IDC said it doesn't expect worldwide PC sales to return to double-digit growth until the first quarter of 2002, according to senior research analyst Anne Bui. While such data would point to further recovery in the industry, Bui cautioned that the figures could be somewhat misleading.

"The only reason it's going to be double-digit growth is because it will be compared to such low numbers this year," she said.

In fact, year over year growth in worldwide PC sales slowed to about 4.5 percent in the first quarter 2001 compared to the same quarter last year, according to preliminary figures from IDC. In the US, which accounts for about one third of worldwide sales, sales declined about 8 per cent in the first quarter from the same period a year ago.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Berger

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?