Q4 PC sales fall: watch for price cuts

PC shipments in Australia declined by 18 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2000 over the previous quarter and by 11 per cent over the 1999 corresponding period, a Gartner Dataquest report has shown.

Andy Woo, analyst at Gartner's Dataquest, said the general slowdown in the overall economic environment and a loss of consumer confidence had a significant impact on the market. "The cautious buying environment over the quarter was a result of several factors including the continuing exchange rate fluctuation, negative reports of the US market, the lingering effects of the Olympics on the Australian market, and ever-rising petrol prices."

The downturn will benefit end users in the short term as vendors will need to slash prices further still to clear excess inventories, Woo said.

"Consumers can therefore expect some bargains during the first quarter of 2001," he said.

Woo said there is still a positive growth forecast for 2001 within key segments.

"Emerging technologies such as small form factor, Bluetooth applications and Windows 2000 are expected to drive upgrades and the replacement cycle," Woo said.

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