1 July 2002 Twenty-five years after the release of the Apple II personal computer, the one billionth PC was shipped in April 2002, according to a report released today by analysts at Gartner. But while it has taken the industry 25 years to reach the billion mark, Gartner forecasts that the two billionth PC will be shipped in 2008.
Wider broadband adoption will be key to this growth, according to Gartner, boosting consumer sales significantly. “The PC industry will receive a boost when there is true broadband (at data rates in excess of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) to many connected households),” says Gartner analyst Martin Reynolds.
“In this sort of environment, the PC will become the central appliance that manages all household communications and entertainment. Its technology will proliferate throughout the home, embodied in a range of low-cost devices that form and extended network,” he adds.
However, for the PC industry to hit the two billion target, the price of systems must continue to drop. “With the wealthy heart of the PC market consumed, PC manufacturers face the challenge of lowering costs to address opportunities in emerging markets such as China, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Lowering costs will be the greatest challenge for the industry in the next six years,” says Reynolds.
Gartner’s report reveals that the US remains the largest market for PC technology, accounting for 39% of units shipped. Europe accounts for around a quarter with fewer than 12% going to the Asia-Pacific region. But that will change if the Chinese economy continues its fast growth.