January 28, 2001

Although PC makers have been reporting a consumer meltdown in fourth-quarter U.S. demand, the desktop, notebook, and Intel-based server market ended the year with a bang in Latin America. According to IDC, 2000 was the best year on record with over 7.7 million units shipped in the region for a total value of $9.29 billion.

As a dot-"calm" spread across the NASDAQ in the United States, many companies began to focus on lower prices and aggressive financing options for the Latin American consumer. These proved to be the necessary ingredients to pique the interest of the 500 million potential purchasers in the region. Multinationals, as well as the ever-present white box assemblers, saw their shipments soar this year as the desktop market grew 27% year-over-year, while notebooks posted gains of nearly 52%.

"Although the fourth quarter was a bit lower than we had expected, the year ended on a very positive note, and few vendors should have complaints with their performance in Latin America," said Jay Gumbiner, PC market analyst for IDC Latin America.

Compaq remained the region's leader; its market share for desktops and notebooks increased from 17.3% in 1999 to 19.1%, buoyed by its flagship Presario desktop. Although IBM began the year with some logistical problems, it improved greatly in the second half of the year and appears to be well- poised for future growth. Hewlett-Packard, fresh on the heels of its reorganization by CEO Carly Fiorina, expanded its market share in the region and is now a formidable competitor to any desktop vendor with its fast-growing Pavilion line. "If Hewlett-Packard were to launch this product in Brazil or Argentina with the same success they've had in Mexico, I think they could easily become the #2 vendor in the region almost overnight," Gumbiner said.

For more information at http://la.idc.com.

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