Gartner: Latin American PC shipments decreased 2% in 1Q03

May 2, 2003 – Stamford, CT – PC shipments in Latin America totaled 1.7 million units in 1Q03, a 2% decline from the same period last year, according to Gartner Inc.

Despite an unexpected 43.3% decline in PC shipments, Hewlett-Packard continued to lead the overall market in 1Q03. Dell was the only top-tier vendor to experience positive growth, which was spurred on by its growing presence in the market, especially in Mexico where Dell grew 46%.

“Although HP’s shipments were affected by Dell’s growing position in Mexico, there were other elements at work. Government purchases were down from one year ago, and HP suffered a 62% decline in the home market due to a growth in consumer preference toward white-boxes,” said Luis Anavitarte, VP and research director for Gartner’s Latin America group. “IBM’s shipments declined 24% because of the lower government demand in Mexico in the quarter and Dell’s positioning in some key corporate accounts. On a much lower scale, white-box manufacturers affected IBM’s shipments in the small low-end business segment.”

Notebook sales had a flat performance, as shipments totaled 132,580 units in 1Q03. Gartner analysts said many in the region are buying their notebooks abroad because the price points continue to be lower.

“In some markets such as Brazil, a notebook on average can cost 35% more than the same machine in Miami,” Anavitarte said. “As notebook prices go down in the region, a shift to local notebook purchases will take place. It’s beginning to happen, but at a slow pace.”

Brazil was the No. 1 country for PC shipments in the region with 48% of the market. The Andean region, excluding Venezuela, grew 8%. While this is becoming white box territory, top-tier vendors are successfully developing niches in some verticals and the government market. Argentina experienced a 97% rebound in the PC market.

Mexico experienced the strongest decline in shipments, as units declined 21%. Mexico’s poor performance was because of fewer government purchases, a slower market because of local and international economic reasons, and a more saturated PC market in the professional segment than in most Latin America countries.


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