Home PC penetration to exceed 50% in 2000

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A recent report from Forrester Research shows that 53% of U.S. homes will have personal computers by the year 2001, as compared to today's 38% penetration rate. The increase is expected to drive consumer PC sales from about 10 million in 1996 to just under 17 million by 2001. The key to unlocking PC potential is the lower-middle income segment, according to Forrester. "The majority of lower-middle income families have little, if any, hands-on experience with PCs and current offerings fall mostly out of their price range," said Emily Green, director of Forrester's people & technology strategies service. The analysts predict it will take four more years for most PC vendors to deliver PC offerings with lower prices to attract lower-middle income customers. Forrester predicts that by 2001, this will fuel a breakthrough, pushing lower-middle income penetration to 55%.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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