Personal computer shipments to the public sector in the U.S. reached a record high during the third quarter of 2002, according to market research firm International Data Corp (IDC). With 2.78 million computers shipped, the public sector grew at a rate of 20.9 percent year over year in the quarter, IDC reported.
The report says that the biggest driving force in the public sector has been the education market, particularly the K-12 market, which accounted for nearly half of all personal computers shipped to the public sector. Despite the shrinking budgets of state governments, which provide the bulk of the funding to education in the United States, the K-12 market enjoyed strong growth during the third quarter of 2002, with shipments growing double digits year over year. The higher education market also performed well, according to IDC.
The top-five vendors in the public sector market were Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Gateway, and IBM. Together, these vendors accounted for the bulk of personal computer shipments to public entities in the third quarter of 2002.
The IDC report also says that:
The federal government enjoyed the strongest growth performance in the entire personal computer market, “thanks to aggressive federal spending and an ongoing PC replacement cycle.”
The weakest segment was state and local government, shipments to which shrank substantially, “reflecting important budget shortfalls amid a tough economic environment.”
Personal computer vendors were forced to lower their prices “drastically in an effort to make market share gains, and these bargains meant flat revenue for the industry.”