RealTime IT News

ISP Access, Rebates Spur June PC Sales

PC Data, Inc. credits free Internet access offers and industry-wide rebates with creating a late-month surge in personal computer sales.

The independent market research firm reports that free Internet access and personal computer offers in June were largely responsible for a 35 percent unit sales increase over June 1998 figures.

Stephen Baker, PC Data director of hardware analysis, said despite appearing at the very end of the month, the free PC craze lifted comparable retail sales considerably higher in June.

"PC sales surged in June propelled by the extensive ISP rebate programs offered at most major retailers and mail order firms at the end of the month,'' Baker said.

"Sales in the last week of the month more than doubled versus the prior week. The strong unit growth was also impressive as the retail PC market contended with the sales bump provided last June by the release of Windows 98."

Computer manufacturers, retailers and ISPs we're quick to partner-up to produce free and nearly-free PC offers in June.

Microsoft Corp. forged and agreement with agreement with PC manufacturer Lan Plus Inc. to resell MSN Internet Access. Prodigy Communications Corp. and Best Buy Co. partnered up to sell long-term Internet access with hefty rebates. Not to be outdone, America Online, Inc. paired with eMachines, Inc. to make getting online more affordable.

The aggressive promotions associated with AOL and CompuServe rebates pushed eMachines to capture third place in U.S. retail sales with 11.1 percent of the market in June. The PC Data report indicated that personal computers priced below $600 were key market drivers, with unit sales more than 26 percent of all sales during the month.