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The economy has finally caught up with Big Blue. On Thursday, IBM
announced that its fourth-quarter revenue dropped 11 percent to
$22.8 billion from $25.6 billion in 4Q00. Annual revenue dropped 3
percent from $88.4 billion in 2000 to $85.9 billion in 2001.

The iSeries' 4Q01 revenue totaled $625 million, according to Salomon
Smith Barney's (SSB's) estimates -- down 16 percent from the $745
million reported for 4Q00. The platform rang up total sales of $2.15
billion for the year -- 10 percent less than in 2000, which analysts
say is par for the course in a sickly economy.

Despite the iSeries' drop in revenue, the platform drew in more cash
in 4Q01 than during any other quarter of the past two years, save an
especially strong 4Q00 buoyed by the iSeries launch and the last
vestiges of the dot-com economy. The iSeries' 4Q01 revenue was still
off track from typical iSeries numbers, but it was nowhere near the
dismal showing of 4Q99, when Salomon Smith Barney estimated the
platform's quarterly sales at just $500 million.

The economy must bear the brunt of the blame for the iSeries' modest
showing, says Tom Bittman, Gartner Group vice president and research
director. "The type of people who buy iSeries are typically
conservative," Bittman says. "And conservative in a weak economy
means not spending."

The iSeries' 4Q01 numbers are in step with IBM's overall hardware
revenue for the quarter, which dropped 24 percent from 4Q00 to $8.7
billion, bringing total hardware revenue for the year to $32.7
billion, an 11 percent drop from 2000.
-- Jill R. Aitoro, Industry Reporter, iSeries Network

This story has been adapted from its original form on the Web.
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