Christmas sales of PCs are unlikely to be as strong this year as last, a major manufacturer has warned.
Mitsubishi, which manufactures and sells the Apricot range of PCs, said information from its retail outlets, which include PC World and Dixons, indicate that last year's sales peak is unlikely to be repeated.
Keith Corbett, UK marketing manager, said: ?Like last year, we?re shipping everything we can make. We put new [manufacturing] lines in last year and capacity is a lot higher. But the retail people haven?t seen the same steep peak this year.?
He claimed that entry level machines were not performing as well as high end multimedia models. ?All in all, we?re reasonably happy despite the fact it hasn?t peaked,? he said.
Corbett said that the introduction of 20 ranges from different vendors using Intel?s MMX extensions was unlikely to prevent home users from spending their money before Christmas. While Mitsubishi will itself introduce such a machine on the 8 January, he said that the company will position it as a high end multimedia machine so that people who bought before Christmas would not feel cheated.
He said: ?Intel still has a lot to learn about retail markets and the introduction of MMX technology on the 8 January does smack a bit of England football strip.?
While IBM and Compaq are also expected to introduce MMX machines in early January, neither company was unable to comment at press time.
But a source at major retailer Dixons said that his company was not happy with Intel?s moves. Intel has told them it will phase out the Pentium P100 and P120 in the first quarter of 1997, he revealed. That will leave the company with stock, he claimed.
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