A weak US deflates global PC markets

Slowing consumer demand and a softening business climate in the US have led to disappointing PC sales, according to a report released by International Data Corp (IDC). Worldwide sales rang up at 365.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2000, down 0.3% over the same period of 1999, and a 3.6% drop from the third quarter of 2000, IDC found.

While numbers were better in emerging economies in Asia and elsewhere, overall the figures suggest the PC market has reached saturation much sooner than industry experts expected.

IDC's analysts claimed that PC sales are likely over time to make room for alternative devices for Internet access, although those devices have yet to make major inroads in the US market.

Compaq Computer kept its place as the number-one vendor of PCs worldwide, with a market share of 13.6% even though its fourth quarter sales grew only 4.2%. Dell Computer remained in second place, with 10% of global sales, but robust growth of 30.9% for the quarter. Hewlett-Packard was third, with 7.4% market share, and growth of 18.5%, and a close fourth went to IBM, with 7.4% share and 7.9% growth. Fujitsu-Siemens Computers rounded up the top five, selling 5% of the world's PCs and racking up 11.3% growth.

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