, Richard Shim reports that June’s manufacturing results for PC makers was poor, adding to an already grim year. Shim’s analysis of market research firm NPD Intelect’s information comes in a new article entitled
Poor sales continue to haunt PC makers.
June sales are down year over year, according to NPD Intelect, with sales off by 26.5 percent and revenue off by 24.6 percent. Selling prices increased, however. Shim reported that the third quarter isn’t looking much better, either — one analyst suggested that this year’s back-to-school season will be similar to 1998’s, sure to be a disappointment to PC makers.
Sony is one bright spot in the market, however — for the first half of the year the company sold 400 percent more computers in retail than for the same period in 2000. Shim suggested that Sony has borrowed a page from Apple by trying to appeal to the same discriminating kind of consumer.
Shim said that Apple’s sales are down 45.6 so far for the year, according to NPD Intelect’s data. Apple holds the number four spot overall, with 4.9 percent marketshare. HP, Compaq and Emachines lead Apple, with Sony behind.
NPD Intelect’s data may be taken with a grain of salt, however: Shim offers an important caveat. “NPD’s data tracks sales through retail stores and does not include sales data from direct sellers, such as Dell Computer and Gateway,” said Shim. Presumably that list also includes Apple, which does a significant volume of sales through its online Apple Store.
Apple could be on the right track by focusing its computers as the hub of the digital lifestyle, if one analyst’s observations are correct. Shim quotes NPD analyst Stephen Baker as noting that demand for digital consumer products such as MP3 players and digital cameras are strong. Such demand could ultimately result in demand for new PCs, as well.