IBM has conceded that tough market conditions are making it difficult for PC manufacturers as the whole industry experiences a slow-down in sales.
Speaking at a monthly roundtable, Mike Lunch, general manager of the IBM PC Company in the UK, said IDC and Dataquest reports confirmed that while there was a slow-down generally in Europe, the whole UK market only grew by one per cent in the first quarter of this year.
?IDC data showed that growth here was only one per cent and the UK market is suffering quite badly,? he said.
?It?s not meltdown but there?s a weakness in the consumer sector.?
But although there was a slow-down in sales, Lunch warned that smaller companies were likely to suffer more than the major manufacturers.
IBM itself had shown consistent growth quarter on quarter, he claimed.
?Major manufacturers are growing so there?s considerable squeezing taking place,? Lunch said. ?We grew by 12 per cent in the first quarter despite the tough conditions.?
Lunch predicted that there would be further consolidation within the dealer channel, and cited GE?s recent acquisition spree within Europe.
On a separate issue, Lunch warned that the industry should not expect its Net PCs, due to be shown at next week?s PC Expo, to be cheaper than ordinary PCs.
?The whole argument here is cost of ownership,? he said. ?Now Microsoft seems to be backing away [from Net PCs] and backing NCs instead. We ourselves are seeing enormous interest in NCs.?
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