In what could be a glimmer of hope for Apple and other computer makers,
Dataquest Inc. is predicting that worldwide personal computer shipments will reach 33.2 million units in the first quarter of the year, a 4.8 percent increase from the first quarter of 2002. By the end of 2003, worldwide shipments are expected to rebound and total 138.7 million units, a 7.9 percent increase from 2002, according to the research and advisory firm.
Of course, that depends on several variables. One of the biggest determining factors is the continued tough economy. Also, the computer industry is also suffering from the lack of a “killer application” to push new and replacement unit sales, Dataquest added.
“In 2003, the outcome of the U.S.-Iraq confrontation will be the key factor influencing the timing of an economic recovery and that timing, in turn, will impact PC sales,” said George Shiffler, principal analyst for Dataquest’s computing platforms and economics research, in announcing the company’s forecasts. “As tension rises, oil prices have been unstable, which negatively impacts overall economic conditions. The uncertainty of the near-term economic outlook is dampening consumers’ confidence as well as corporate PC purchases.”