Don't expect the PC market to pull the semiconductor industry out of its doldrums for a little while yet, said International Data Corp. Monday.
Channel inventory corrections and ongoing economic woes in Asia resulted in "mediocre" growth in the United States and worldwide PC
markets during the second quarter, according to preliminary market- and vendor-shipment data compiled by the market researcher, based in Framingham, Mass.
Total U.S. PC-vendor shipments grew 10 percent over last year and declined 1 percent sequentially, according to IDC. Worldwide, PC shipments rose 7 percent over the second quarter of 1997 and declined 3 percent sequentially, as Western Europe rebounded and the Asia-Pacific and Japan markets declined.
"Inventory-clearing and a focus on leaner inventory
positions during the second quarter held unit shipments in check among indirect vendors," said Christine Arrington, a U.S. PC-industry analyst with IDC. "As a result, there were some shifts in U.S. market share -- most notably Dell and Compaq were neck and neck for the top spot."
Second quarter growth was also hurt by a soft portables market in Japan and the United States. On the positive side, unit shipments in Western Europe grew 20 percent, partially driven by strong consumer demands in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Windows 98 also helped drive sales at the quarter's end, following a weak retail market in May.