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French Version

In 2003, you’ll probably get a new PC!

Researchers Gartner Group are predicting that 2003 will be a growth year for PC sales, despite the current economic uncertainty due to the threat of war between the United States and Iraq.

Although it’s a ‘modest’ increase of 7.9 percent in shipments worldwide, it’s good news after the decrease in shipments experienced in 2001 which amounted to 5 percent, after the so-called ‘dot com bubble’ burst, and the meager growth of 1.5 percent in 2002.

The total number of PCs expected to be sold in 2003 is 138.7 million units, of which 33.2 million will be sold in the first quarter.

Gartner’s forecast is similar to that of International Data Corp. (IDC) which predicted a growth in PC sales of around 8 percent in 2003, suggesting that total sales would be more than the total Gartner predicted.

What do these figures reflect? Well, they suggest that 2003 will be a year in which more users will replace their current machines. Although no major changes are expected in operating systems from Microsoft, which usually drives PC upgrades, users will follow the natural progression of upgrading or replacing their PC within cycles of three years; as the year 2000 was a massive sales year, as was 1999.

Surely, into 2003, the millions of PC owners who bought their PC at the turn of the century need to replace their Pentium III and early Pentium 4 machines! How does this affect us? Well, any growth in sales signals a trend for PC replacement or upgrading on the one hand, and a decrease in relative prices of hardware on the other.

Although there are no figures available for the region, the Middle East has experienced year-on-year growth in PC sales driven by a move towards the information society in all countries of the region, and fueled by lower and more competitive PC pricing.

Today, in Jordan, you can get a well-configured PC, fully equipped with a 17 inch monitor and a CD-RW drive, for JD 700. That seems to be the entry-level price held for several years.

You can bet that, six months from now, when a faster Pentium processor is released, the first PCs on the market will also sell for a price hovering around JD700, while the PC you bought six months earlier will drop some JD100 to JD 150. It’s been the pricing trend in the local market for a while now.

In terms of components, the year 2003 is expected to witness less manufacturers including 3.5 inch floppy drives in their PCs, while every PC will come with a CD-RW, signally the end of the CD-Rom era.

If you’re planning to buy a PC this year, you’ll be pleased with all the extras you’re getting.

Get a top of the line P4 processor, it will serve you well for, at the very least, two years; meaning that you won’t have to cope with the headache of buying another PC till 2005.

Zeid Nasser
The Star

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