The rebound in global personal computer markets this year will be 17-percent weaker than expected because of lower spending in government and education.
PC growth this year will be about 6.9 percent rather than a previous forecast of 8.3 percent, International Data Corporation (IDC), a leading U.S. market research company, said.
This is bad news for PC makers and also the semiconductor companies that supply them. PCs account for nearly 40 percent of global chip sales.
"Government tax receipts will be much smaller this year and that will impact PC buying," said Roger Kay, senior analyst at IDC.
Worldwide PC shipments are forecast to reach 145.6 million units in 2003.
This is higher than the forecast by IDC rival Gartner Dataquest, which has estimated 7.9-percent growth to 138.7 million units.
Some of the lost sales to government and education will be offset by expected higher levels of PC buying by corporations.
But Mr. Kay noted that the corporate PC buying cycle "has been stretched to the limits" and was approaching nearly five years for some companies, compared with the traditional three-year upgrade cycle.
Some analysts have warned that there are millions of ageing PCs in use within corporations and that many of them were reaching the end of their physical life, as hard drives and other components began to fail. (FT.com)
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