Going From Gloom to Boom

Robust sales give personal-computer makers new hope

"The slump is over," crows Tandy Chairman John Roach. Indeed, Roach and his computer-industry rivals have reason to feel a sudden rush of confidence. After being relatively cool to personal computers for three years, customers are snapping them up faster than a high-speed printer spews out sprocketed paper.

The big four in personal computing -- IBM, Apple, Compaq and Tandy -- logged first-quarter unit sales of PCs that were about 10% higher than last year's. Industry analysts expect the spurt to signal the start of a lasting recovery. The Dataquest market-research firm predicts that personal- computer unit sales will rise 14%...

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