Dataquest analyst Thomas Reuner said today that despite recent negative publicity, the desktop PC will remain mainstream through to 2002.
He commented: "Lou Gerstner has been the most quoted recently following his comments that the PC era is over. He has also been the most misquoted. What he was referring to is the dramatic change in the IT industry over the last year and to the affect the drop in PC prices has had on company financial performance."
He added, "The PC era is far from being over, but the competition is harder than ever."
Reuner said the PC will remain a major part of corporations IT systems. If you are not competing in the PC space, you are a niche player by default, he added.
"Notebooks will not replace desktops and neither will handheld PCs," he said.
He went on to say that last year, desktop PCs represented 79.2 per cent of all PC shipments. Portable PCs accounted for 12.5 per cent, servers 3.2 per cent and workstations 1.6 per cent.
Reuner warned that PC resellers should brace themselves for the same consolidation the PC vendors have faced over the last couple of years.
"We saw Compaq recently cutting the number of resellers it deals with in the US in order to cut distribution costs and we will see other vendors follow suit soon. Similar action will be taken across Europe by PC vendors and will lead to consolidation," he warned.
He said that in order to compete in the PC industry over the next few years, PC vendors needed to differentiate themselves and supply chain management was the best way to do this.
"Dell's success comes more from an optimised supply chain than its direct selling model," he said.
Reuner said that although the leading members were likely to achieve low distribution costs, many will fail to optimise their supply chain and as a result, smaller as yet unknown companies with better supply chain management will be able to compete successfully in the PC market.
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