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MicronPC.com, or, “Where Are They Now?”

Written By: C. McNulty
Published On: June 8 2000

MicronPC.com, or, "Where Are They Now?"
C. McNulty - June 8, 2000

Event Summary

Nampa, Idaho, May 10, 2000-Micron Electronics, Inc. announced the successful completion of a 10-store pilot and full 358-store roll-out of its partnership with Best Buy Co., Inc., which makes micronpc.com computers available in all Best Buy stores in the U.S.

Micron President and Chief Executive Officer Joel J. Kocher said the initial pilot roll-out in 10 Best Buy stores exceeded sales expectations for configure-to-order PCs, and the mid-April nationwide launch drew brisk sales.

Market Impact

Once upon a time, we used to run into MicronPC.com (ne Micron Electronics) pretty steadily at client sites. We always liked them. When TEC heard this newsflash from Micron, why, it made us almost nostalgic. Whatever happened to Micron? We thought we'd check in with the numbers. Ouch.

There's almost nowhere to go but up for Micron's PC business. During the last three years, they have seen a steady decline in market share. These numbers are especially troubling when one considers that the US desktop market has been growing at a healthy 15-22% pace during the last two years.

Micron PC Unit Sales
1998
721,000
1999
623,700
2000 (projected)
543,600

(Source: TEC)

 

Micron's been looking to a different future - subscription sales, ASP services, and its HostPro web site subsidiary. But they've lost focus on their base market of consumers and SOHO users. IBM [NYSE:IBM] pulled out of retail six months ago. That would have been the time to be on store shelves. The Best Buy numbers look good, but Micron needs something more if it wants to even match its 1999 performance.

Micron has the technical skill to be an adequate counter to the leading PC vendors. For example, it eschewed the Intel 820 chipset in lieu of third party chips integrated with its own manufacturing operation. In hindsight, this was a good move, given the 820's history as an Intel problem child. They're a good innovator, as evidenced by their arsenal of U.S. patents. But they seem to lack the marketing muscle to sustain their innovations.

User Recommendations

Micron needs more sales. They continue to produce a quality PC, but we can't recommend Micron as a viable PC vendor until their sales numbers come back.

 
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