UK Xmas PC sales not full of cheer

Pentium MMX systems haven't been released yet but PC vendors are already blaming the Intel CPU for a disappointing Christmas selling period. Vendors contacted by PCDN said Christmas has been slower than expected despite a bright start and many blame MMX, which is destined for a January 8 ship.

Pentium MMX systems haven't been released yet but PC vendors are already blaming the Intel CPU for a disappointing Christmas selling period. Vendors contacted by PCDN said Christmas has been slower than expected despite a bright start and many blame MMX, which is destined for a January 8 ship.

"Expectations for the fourth quarter were huge and they haven't been realised," said Richard Baker, regional marketing manager for PC products at CPU maker AMD. "I would guess that Christmas has been about the same as last year, which wasn't great. Everyone's scared of MMX. Christmas is consumer and MMX is a big thing for consumers. Nobody buys England football shirts for their kids when they're going to change them in January."

"The market is surprisingly flat ... We expected to see very high demand throughout the month," said Jez Deacon, technical director at London-based Carrera Technology. Our classic market is people who know what they're talking about and I reckon they're waiting for MMX. It's ticking on but it's not been the Christmas we were expecting. Even at the low-end 100MHz-type system, the retail operations aren't pumping them out fast."

Another spokesman for a leading international PC vendor who requested anonymity was even bleaker. "It's been very disappointing, and anyone who says different isn't being straight," he said. "The only stuff that has really moved in retail has been the £999-type box."

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