IDC: LatAm PC Shipments Grow 50 Percent

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (05/24/2000) - PCs in Latin America flew off the shelves in the first quarter, thanks to rising Internet use, increased economic stability and attractive financing options, according to market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC).

PC shipments rose 50 percent in the first quarter, compared with 1999's first quarter, Latin America's largest quarterly PC shipment growth in five years. PC shipments, which include desktop PCs, notebooks and PC servers, reached 1.54 million in the first quarter, compared with 1.03 million in the first quarter of 1999.

With the first quarter's robust growth, Latin America got "back on track" and recovered the ground it lost during 1999's dismal first quarter, when shipments shrank almost 1 percent, said Alexandra Martínez, a senior analyst at IDC's Latin America research unit, in an interview today.

IDC had forecast an 18 percent increase in shipments for Latin America's PC market in 2000, but it might revise that upward based on the first quarter's robust growth, she said.

Of the 1.54 million units shipped, 1.4 million were desktop PCs, 100,000 were notebooks and 25,000 were Intel-based PC servers, Martínez said. Latin America PC market's value in the quarter was US$1.92 billion.

The markets with the highest growth in shipments were Brazil with about 80 percent and México with 63 percent, followed by Chile (38 percent) and Argentina (29 percent). On the other hand, Colombia posted the region's smallest growth with 4 percent, although the country's performance exceeded IDC's expectations, given Colombia's current economic problems, she said.

Political uncertainty continues to hold back investors and buyers in Venezuela, whose PC market shrank 5 percent in the first quarter, Martínez said. These six countries are the region's largest IT markets, according to IDC.

Factors fueling the growth in Brazil were increased Internet use and continued recovery from its currency devaluation last year, while México was helped by PC financing options for both the home and business markets, she said.

Compaq Computer Corp. once again led the region with 19 percent of units shipped, while Hewlett-Packard Co. came in a distant second with 6 percent of shipments. However, this is the first time since IDC started measuring this market in 1994 that HP has come in second in PC shipment market share in Latin America, Martínez said. IBM Corp. came in third and Acer Inc. grabbed the fourth spot. Still, as a group, local vendors continued to lead the market with 54 percent of all shipments.

IDC, in Framingham, can be reached at 1-508-872-8200 or at http://www.idc.com/.

The company's Latin America research unit has an office in Miami that can be reached at 1-305-267-2616.

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