Speaking at the Dataquest Predicts 99 conference in Paris, Paolo Puppoli, analyst at Dataquest, said until now, home PC vendors have targeted their products at four market areas: home-office, games users, home family users and students.
He said: 'This model is now outdated. To avoid the mistakes made by companies such as Levi's and Marks & Spencer - which have recently lost huge market share by failing to recognise that generations change - PC vendors will need to change.'
He added that only one company has so far got it right. 'Apple has realised that some people buy PCs to be trendy. Apple offers one processor speed per quarter, thereby avoiding the complications faced by other vendors which stick to each microprocessor release. It also offers a range of colours. Apple segments its market into lifestyles and gains in supply chain.'
Puppoli warned that if vendors do not take action soon, new players could enter the market and take market share away from traditional players.
'When the generation of Sony PlayStation users grows up and is looking to buy a PC, Sony could bring out a product and take significant market share away from vendors like Compaq,' he claimed.
Puppoli said the greatest area of growth in the home PC market would be in mobile PCs. 'Vendors are starting to offer notebooks in the European market and are gaining higher margins.
'In Japan, the notebook market represented 44.7 per cent of total consumer PC sales last year. This growth was a result of the space benefits offered by mobile PCs.
In Europe, we have the same home space constraints as Japan - we do not have large houses like the US,' he added.
Puppoli forecast a 20.8 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for home notebook PCs in Europe between 1999 and 2003, compared to a 10 per cent CAGR for desktop PCs.
The deal builds on distie's earlier promise to distribute a broader range of electrical goods
Services firm sees revenue increase 23 per cent
Execs Zak Virdi and Neil Lomax open up on the rationale behind acquisition
CEO Steve Brazier slams vendor titans at annual event in Barcelona