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A Billion? That'd be Quite a Pile of PC's

By® Staff

Originally Posted

Historical milestones are set and surpassed with regularity in the still-nascent personal computer industry. After only 25 years, the one billionth PC was shipped this year, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc.

But unit number two billion is expected to move to consumers in just six more years, the technology research firm says, to the glee of Internet marketers.

Lean, competitive Dell and the newly merged HP/Compaq should reshape the industry, Gartner says. Broadband adoption rates by households are expected to increase dramatically as data rates increase.

"In this sort of broadband 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 an extended network," according to Gartner vice president Martin Reynolds.

Reynolds says lower and lower costs have put computers within range of the budgets of most American households. But the key, he says, is untapped markets abroad: emerging markets with much lower per capita income.

"Lowering costs will be the greatest challenge for the industry in the next six years," he says.

Hmmm. We have the low-cost part down. Wonder how many of those households could use an excellent on-line media database?

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