Market Share for the PC

Sol Libes
Byte Magazine

April 1983

International Data Corp., a market-research firm, estimates that, in its first full year of selling the Personal Computer, IBM sold almost 200,000 systems and that this year sales should rise to 350,000 systems. Thus the firm estimates that the IBM Personal Computer has already gained 17.3% of the market, behind Apple's 26.6% and Tandy's 23.3%.

International Data Corp. also predicts that next year IBM will be the leader in the personal computer market, a market that keeps doubling each year. It has been estimated that 10% of the IBM Personal Computer systems sold have gone to IBM employees, who get discounts and payment plans for the system. The discount policy encourages IBM employees to write software for the system, often for extra pay.

IBM already dominates the medium-performance $3000-to-$5000 segment of the personal computer market. Already two dozen IBM-compatible machines have been introduced. The standard memory size for IBM-compatible machines now seems to be 256K bytes. Doubtless IBM's new machine, expected this summer, will have 256K bytes of memory onboard.

Although much lower than IBM in dollar volume, Commodore, TI, and Timex Computer Corp. are the leaders in unit volume. Timex Computer is estimated to have shipped 750,000 units last year, and Commodore and TI about 600,000 computers each. Radio Shack and Atari were not far behind. Thus it appears that close to 3 million personal computers were sold last year. With Timex Computer, Commodore, and TI each expected to sell over 1.5 million computers in 1983, we may see over 6 million computers sold this year.

Total sales for this year are expected to top $3 billion. Both Apple and Tandy have disclosed that they are shooting for $1 billion in sales, a 50% increase over last year. Tandy anticipates that its 1983 sales of home systems will top its sales of business systems for the first time. Apple is expected to introduce an under-$500 computer for the home market.

Copyright 1983