PC Sales Projections Up, But Guardedly So

PC Sales Projections Up, But Guardedly So

If your business is at all related to the world of personal computers, a recent Gartner Inc. release says that their analysts are increasing their projections for fourth quarter PC shipments. According to their recent forecasts, worldwide PC shipments will total 47.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2003, a 12.4 percent increase from the same period last year. Gartner analysts are now projecting total worldwide PC shipments to be 164.3 million units in 2003, a 10.9 percent increase from 2002, up from the 8.3 percent projection in their September versio

Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group, says "Third quarter results were stronger than had been expected, led largely by the home and small business markets. But we remain cautious in our overall outlook." Gartner analysts highlighted four issues that may spoil future PC growth prospects:

- Demand remains lackluster for large-corporate sales, with the notable exception of Europe

- Despite showing strong growth in the third quarter of 2003, the U.S. home market could prove fragile in the coming quarters, especially because its recent growth may have been driven by temporary factors, such as recent tax rebates and lower tax withholdings.

- In the U.S. retail market, Gartner believes that inventory levels in October were noticeably higher this year than last year.

- In the strong third quarter of 2003, the Japanese home market appears to have been heavily influenced by early new model introductions in advance of Japan's new PC recycling law, which became effective 1 October.

"Our forecast models continue to show strong potential for growth in the number of buyers upgrading over the next year, but levels of actual activity will be highly dependent on worldwide economic circumstances," said George Shiffler, principal analyst for Gartner's Computing Platforms Worldwide group. "While U.S. recovery prospects appeared to have improved significantly in recent weeks, the outlook for the rest of the world continues to remain uncertain, with many countries intently looking to the United States to pull them out of the doldrums."

You can find out more here.

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