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Computerized Investing > November/December 2003

Feature: Building a Computer for Investing

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

After seeing worldwide unit personal computer (PC) shipments decline by 4.2% in 2001—the first annual decline since 1985—the PC industry returned to its growing ways in 2002 with worldwide PC shipments increasing by 4.7% according to Gartner Dataquest. Preliminary data for 2002 had pointed to a lackluster sales year, with unit sales increasing a modest 2.7%. However, once the numbers were counted, Gartner revised its 2002 sales figures up some 16 million units to 148.1 million units sold worldwide for 2002, compared to 141.5 million units sold in 2001.

Analysts were much more optimistic for 2003’s prospects in January, as Gartner predicted unit sales would increase by about 8%. Since then, they have revised their estimates upward to 161.3 million units shipped for 2003, an increase of 8.9% over 2002. For the second and third quarters of 2003, worldwide PC shipments have increased by double-digit percentages.

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