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PC World

PC prices continue to freefall

March 23, 1999
Web posted at: 9:19 a.m. EST (1419 GMT)

by Marc Ferranti

(IDG) -- Consumers in the United States, Western Europe, and Asia will help drive the global PC market to new heights in 1999, and prices for most models will either remain where they are or fall, according to market research company International Data Corp.

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The number of PCs shipped this year worldwide will increase by 14.3 percent over 1998, hitting 103.2 million units, according to a recently released IDC global forecast. The expected growth is better than last year's 12.3 percent increase from 1997's shipments, according to IDC. The value of the PC shipments will increase 4.8 percent to $178.4 billion, according to IDC.

Lower prices will be seen in consumer and commercial desktop PCs as well as portable units, according to Bruce Stephen, IDC group vice president of worldwide PC research. "An increasing percentage of models in the consumer area is under the $1500 mark, and you'll see some major players move into the under-$500 space... It won't be just eMachines selling PCs for $399 anymore," Stephen said.

In the first quarter of 1999, IDC expects the United States to have the strongest year-over-year increase of any region, with unit shipments rising by 19.3 percent.

IDC's final 1998 PC shipment figures still show Compaq maintaining a strong hold on its first-place ranking in the United States and the world. Gateway has moved into the number-three spot in the United States, knocking IBM down to number four. Dell is number two in the United States, and Hewlett-Packard is number five. Meanwhile IBM held on to its number-two ranking for worldwide PC shipments, followed by Dell, HP, and Packard Bell NEC.

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Average PC price drops below $1000
(PC World Online)
Can you afford a $50 PC?
(PC World Online)
Free PCs, but not a free lunch
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PC prices to continue falling, chip vendors predict
(PC World Online)
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(PC World Online)

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