Latin America PC Market Is on the Road to Recovery with Forecasted Unit Growth of 8.5% for 1999, According to IDC

MIAMI, June 3, 1999 — According to International Data Corporation's (IDC's) Latin American Quarterly PC Market Tracker, the outlook for the Brazilian PC market is not as bleak as had been anticipated. This bodes well for the Latin America region since the currency crisis experienced in Brazil remained fairly contained and unlike the Mexican peso crisis of 1995 did not ripple throughout the entire region, IDC reported at a recent breakfast briefing titled, Tracking the Impact of a Devalued Real on the Latin America PC Markets.

Regional desktop and notebook PC shipments in Q1 1999 grew 1.5% versus 1998 despite a major devaluation of the Brazilian Real. IDC now expects unit growth of 8.5% for 1999. Regional desktop and notebook PC shipments were 854,700 for the first quarter of 1999. This shipment growth of 1.5% from Q1 1998 was an improvement on the projected decline of 5.5%.

"The devaluation of the Real did not curtail demand to the extent we expected," said Alexandra Martinez, research analyst for IDC Latin America. "The business segments in particular continued to make purchases, and most of the large bids that were pending were concluded as planned. Moving forward, we expect to see growth fueled by the continued offerings of low-cost systems, investments for Y2K preparedness, and a reactivation of the consumer market as well as investment from stronger segments such as telecommunications, banking, and oil."

Mexico outpaced projections with shipments up 19% versus a projected increase of 7%. In Argentina and Venezuela, PC shipments were expected to decline, but were roughly flat relative to a year ago. In Chile shipments met forecast with roughly a 4% decline, and Colombia was below forecast declining 10%. Brazil's PC shipments were down only 10% versus the initial forecast decline of 18%. Demand seemed to show signs of recovery somewhat toward the end of the quarter. The positive results in the region's largest markets suggest a relatively rapid recovery from the Real devaluation and other economic challenges facing the region. While some political uncertainty remains, a brighter economic outlook potentially coupled with improving oil prices could return regional growth to double digits sooner than expected.

IDC reports quarterly on the personal computer (desktops, notebooks, servers) market in Latin America. It also produces an annual study, Latin America Personal Computers, which provides an overview of key issues and regional market data comparisons. The country reports contained in the annual report series include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. IDC market segmentation, country vendor market shares, five-year forecasts, and detailed political, economic, and IT market analyses can be found in each of the six individual country reports in the series.

IDC's 1999 Latin America Personal Computers can be purchase by contacting Daniel Cardamone at 305-267-2616. For more information on this study or related Latin American research, please contact Lisa Bloom at 508-935-4236.

In 1999, IDC Latin America will be hosting a series of breakfast briefings on topics covering the Internet, telecommunications, PCs, software, and more. For more information, visit IDC's Web site at http://www.idc.com/Events or call Michelle de Anderson at 305-267-2616.

With a network of six country offices in Latin America and two regional offices – in Silicon Valley, Calif. and Miami – IDC provides full market coverage of PCs, mainframes, Unix systems and workstations, servers, desktop printers, professional services, local area networks, the Internet, RDBMS software, distribution channels, NT, and IT spending patterns in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. IDC also conducts primary research in Peru, Ecuador, Central America, and the Caribbean. International Data Corporation is the leading supplier of IT market information on Latin America.

About IDC

International Data Corporation is the information technology industry's most comprehensive resource on worldwide IT markets, trends, products, vendors, and geographies. IDC provides data, analysis, and advisory services to the world's leading IT suppliers as well as IS professionals in finance, insurance, entertainment, advertising, consumer goods, and publishing. IDC's research and opinions are based on the results of more than 300,000 end-user surveys, in-depth competitive analysis, broad technology coverage, and strategic analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through its 500 analysts in more than 40 countries worldwide. Additional information on IDC can be found on its Web site at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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