PC market grows by 14 per cent

The Australian PC market grew by 14 per cent in the second quarter of 2002 compared to the same quarter last year, prompting analysts at Gartner Dataquest to assume that the Y2K replacement cycle has begun.

For several years analysts and industry players have predicted that better days for the PC market lay ahead, due to the need to replace the fleet of personal computers purchased immediately prior to Y2K. To date, there has been little evidence that the replacement cycle has begun, with most analysts looking to 2003 as the year the PC channel will make a recovery.

But Gartner analyst Andy Woo, expecting to inform the market of a mere 4-6 per cent growth rate for the second quarter of 2002, was surprised to find double-digit growth year-on-year.

"After several quarters of negative or flat growth rates, there is a positive indication that things are starting to turn around, with stronger replacement rates starting to materialise," Woo said. "However, we still need another strong quarter of growth before we start popping the champagne. If the third quarter, traditionally a slower quarter, continues this trend for strong growth, it will clearly show that replacement rates amongst end users for pre-Y2K systems are taking effect."

The figures certainly buck the worldwide figures -- with recent reports from both Gartner and IDC showing international PC sales growth declining by around half a per cent.

The good news only gets better when talking mobile computing, with the mobile PC industry growing by 24.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2002 compared to the same period last year, Gartner said. Woo attributed this growth to advances in mobile technology and aggressive price points on both consumer and corporate models.

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