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Tech Industry

PC sales to boom in Japan

Shipments of personal computers by the top three vendors in Japan are expected to rise 20 percent in 1997.

Shipments of personal computers by the top three vendors in Japan are expected to rise 20 percent in 1997 to about 9 million units, up from 7 million in 1996.

Japan is the second largest PC market in the world behind the United States.

NEC, the largest vendor in Japan, is forecasting that it will ship 4.75 million PCs in 1997, an increase of 25 percent, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

One of NEC's hot products in the Japanese market this year is expected to be an Internet-ready personal computer featuring a built-in TV/satellite receiver and DVD (digital video disc) player. The PC-9821C200/V model S2 will come with a 28-inch wide-screen monitor and is priced at 698,000 yen (about $6,500). It uses a 200-MHz Intel Pentium MMX microprocessor.

Fujitsu is aiming to ship 2.9 million machines, up 30 percent from the year before. Fujitsu will focus more on notebook PC sales, the report said.

IBM Japan is expecting PC shipments to reach about 1.3 million units, a surge of 40 percent over 1996. IBM is a major player in the Japanese corporate market and does well with notebook PC sales in that country. IBM Japan sells some unique notebooks in the Japanese market, such as an ultra-small Intel-based notebook which is similar to a handheld PC in size but offers PC-like features.