PC makers try to get Xmas tills a-ringing

PC Makers have had a crappy year, so here come the Christmas offers...

The race to offer consumers the fastest and cheapest PCs began Sunday and includes instant discounts at the checkout counter, mail-in rebates in excess of $100 and enhanced bundles. For example, Dell Computer on Tuesday is introducing its new Dimension 2350 desktop with a 15-inch flat panel display for $699 after a $100 rebate.

"Last year was pretty aggressive. I think it's going to be equally aggressive this year," said Toni Duboise, desktop analyst with ARS. "I think it'll ramp up a little bit as the holidays get closer and manufacturers try to motivate the PC buyers that are out there."

"I think sales on the desktop will be pretty weak," Baker said. "On the other hand, I think notebook sales will be very good, but they'll have a hard time beating last year. Last year had record notebook sales. Sales (in November and December) were about 40 percent above the comparable period in the prior year. Matching that number again will be difficult."

Promotional activity should increase when the holiday season gets into full swing after Thanksgiving.

"Promotions may also center on multimedia devices, like DVD burners," Duboise said. "Dell and Hewlett-Packard, for example, have (reduced) the cost to upgrade from a CD burner to a DVD burner." Those companies have dropped the price for such an upgrade on a desktop to about $200. Notebooks with built-in DVD burners could also prove popular.

Better get those letters to Santa written people ;)

View: PC makers launch holiday promotions

News source: ZDNet

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