Portables up the pace on PCs

While there was a relatively flat first quarter of 2002 for the PC market, user enthusiasm for portable computers was not dampened, according to new research from Gartner Dataquest.

The PC market grew 3.6 per cent on the same period last year, but was slightly down -- 1.5 per cent -- on the fourth quarter of last year.

"With regards to the PC market, the dynamics have not changed significantly from previous quarters," said Gartner PC analyst Andy Woo.

Woo said the market was static due to both budget constraints and end user caution, which has led to the refresh cycle for new PCs being more ad hoc rather than through large-scale deployments.

Despite this news, Woo found that the portable market continues to be a shining light for vendors and their channel partners, growing at 13 per cent over the quarter. Woo said the development of feature-rich, wireless applications, narrowing performance gaps between desktop and laptop computers, and a general increase in end user awareness is driving this growth.

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