The number of personal computers shipped within Japan in fiscal 2001 fell 13.2 percent from the previous year to 12.14 million units, marking the first decline in four years, the Multimedia Research Institute said Tuesday.

The Tokyo-based institute, which monitors trends in the domestic information technology market, attributed the slide to slumping private consumption and a decline in corporate capital investment.

In terms of value, PC shipments fell 19.1 percent to 1.9 trillion yen. Roughly half the shipments constituted over-the-counter sales, while the remainder were call sales targeted at corporate customers.

The institute said sales in both categories logged a double-digit plunge from the previous fiscal year, with the launch of the Windows XP operating system by Microsoft Corp. failing to stir demand.

Shipments to corporate clients fell 3.3 percent in the first half, with the scope of decline rising sharply to 18 percent in the second half, dragged down by a deterioration in corporate earnings.

The average price of PCs was 156,500 yen, down 11,500 yen from the year before, the institute said.

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