The last fiscal quarter of the year for the PC world ended with positive figures, at least according to the preliminary figures elaborated in recent days by IDC.
The market investigation company has identified a 4 percentage point increase in sales compared to the same period of the previous year which, added to the results achieved in the previous quarters, brings sales to a small + 1.5% compared to 2001. Given that last year was the worst in IT history in terms of sales and the first to show a negative trend over the past 20 years, you can be satisfied, even if you cannot fail to notice how in the past the rate of increase sales from year to year have almost always been in double figures.
The data provided by the competitor Gartner confirm the growth rate, set at 2.7%.
Among the most significant data the return to the top of the HP ranking that undermined Dell which in turn had jumped from the top Hewlett Packard in the previous quarter. The two manufacturers, however, proceed almost head-to-head as computers with the HP brand exceed those of the competitor by just 120,000 units worldwide. IBM ranks third worldwide (fourth in the USA behind Gateway).
As for Apple, the news is half good. The growth of the market share in the USA was, but was minimal, just 0.1% (from 2.9 to 3.0%) and therefore below the growth rate attributed to the USA (+6.6 % in the fourth quarter). However, Apple remains the fifth largest computer manufacturer in terms of sales.
IDC underlines the good performances of the American market, higher than expected, but warns to consider that they are mainly due to the consumer market and not to the professional one which remains absolutely static.
2003 could see a recovery, even if not substantial, of the installed fleet of large companies. If there will be a renewal process it will be due to the fact that from this year Microsoft will stop releasing patches for Windows 2000 and Windows 98 causing many customers to switch to systems compatible with Windows XP