IBM Finishes 1998 With Strong Network Station Sales

IBM announced a successful year for its Network Stations, reporting sales of thin clients to Volkswagon, Guardian Insurance, British Aerospace, Nike, Mazda, Loews Hotels, Ballys Hotel & Casino, Allied Signal, Boston College, Manheim Auctions and First Union.

Adding to its list of Network Station devotees, IBM recently sold 8,000 units to American General Finance (Evansville, Ind.). According to published reports, AGF replaced dumb terminals with Neetwork Stations at its more than 1,300 consumer loan branches, and plans to use the devices to handle a variety of tasks, from loan applications to office productivity tools.

Thin client manufacturers are expected to ship 6.8 million units in 2002, up from 507,000 in 1998, according to Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp. Another analyst firm -- Zona Research in Redwood City, Calif. -- predicts 13 million thin clients will ship annually within five years.

--L. Greenemeier