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
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
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.