IDC Predicts an “Internet Mosaic” with Worldwide Users Representing All Ages, Education Levels, Occupations, and Geographies

FRAMINGHAM, MA – FEBRUARY 12, 2002 – By the end of the year, more than 600 million people will access the Internet worldwide, spending more than $1 trillion dollars, a new study from IDC reveals. This data, generated by version 8.1 of IDC's Internet Commerce Market Model, indicates that even in the current global recession, the Internet is huge and growing. However, the concept of the Internet as a great unifying force, allowing businesses to reach the most remote corners of the globe via one medium, with one message, has developed more into a reflection of the diversity that exists throughout the world.


Internet users once had a similar profile. Now they are all ages, all education levels, all occupations and from all countries. Users could once connect only from PCs, but now connect from PCs, web TVs, Palm Pilots, and mobile phones, and how they connect very much depends on their technology orientation and policies of the local country.

"In effect, instead of the Internet normalizing worldwide variations, it has become a reflection of the many geographies, cultures, economics and political conditions that exist in the off-line world," said Carol Glasheen, program vice president of IDC's Global Research Organization. "Consequently, businesses utilizing the Internet must understand the variations and complexities of Internet use in each country if they are to capture the vast opportunity afforded by the Internet Mosaic."

The Internet Mosaic

According to IDC's research, worldwide ecommerce spending grew 68% between 2000 and 2001, despite all the economic woes and political unrest, reaching

more than $600 billion in 2001. IDC forecasts that ecommerce spending will pass the $1 trillion mark in 2002. Growth in all regions will be strong, but the factors behind that growth and the drivers of continued growth vary by region by country.

Highlights of Key Findings by Region:

The Internet has become part of U.S. culture, with approximately 80% of the population using the Internet at least once per month by 2006.

The percentage of Canadians accessing the Internet will grow to 80% by 2006; Over half are buyers.

Latin America is looking for the U.S. economic recovery and will rely on public and private initiatives to drive future development of information economies.

The common currency in Western Europe will ultimately result in increased price transparency, enhanced competition, and better offers for on-line buyers

IT vendors are already enabling distributors and resellers to order products via Web-based systems in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

In South Africa, there are approximately 2.3 – 2.6 million active Internet users – two thirds of which are in the upper living standards bracket.

Mobile phone usage remains high in Asia Pacific, but mobile commerce will take time to achieve potential.

Amid the changing IT environment, Japanese consumers are embracing the Internet in droves. The number of Internet buyers is also naturally growing, despite Japanese consumers being the most sensitive to security issues when it comes to making purchases on-line

IDC's new study, The Internet Mosaic: One World, Many Nations, (IDC #26510) examines the factors driving growth of the Internet within different regions throughout the world. By understanding the diversity of users and challenges of Internet use within each region, businesses will be better prepared to capitalize on this enormous opportunity.

For more information about IDC's Global Research Organization, please contact Amie White at (508) 935-4653 or

To purchase this document, call IDC's volume sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in- depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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