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Slow PC growth in Latin America

The Latin American PC market grew only 9.1 percent in 1997, hampered by high interest rates and the resulting slowdown of shipments in Brazil.

The Latin American PC market grew only 9.1 percent in 1997, hampered by high interest rates and the resulting slowdown of PC shipments in Brazil, according to a report by market research firm Dataquest.

Shipments in Brazil, the largest market in Latin America, decreased 4.2 percent from the year before, but still topped the region in volume, with shipments reaching 1.2 million units this year.

1997 Latin America PC shipments
Company Units Market
share
Market
growth
Compaq 571,422 17.1% 41.8%
IBM 378,397 11.3% 2.1%
Acer 364,032 10.9% 13.0%
HP 245,285 7.3% 51.7%
Others 1,785,152 53.3% -1.3%
Total 3,344,288 100.0% 9.1%
Source: Dataquest

"Interest rates in Brazil doubled during the fourth quarter of 1997, resulting in a dramatic contraction of demand and the decline of shipments in the country," explained Dataquest senior analyst Luis Anavitarte in a prepared statement.

Counterbalancing the market dip in Brazil, other Latin American countries reported robust growth, lead by Venezuela, which reported a market increase of 36.2 percent. Mexico followed with 26.9 percent growth, Peru grew 24 percent, Columbia 22.8 percent, and Chile 18 percent. Argentina logged an 8.4 percent gain.

Among foreign PC manufacturers, Compaq maintained its lead over IBM and Acer, who are battling for second place. Hewlett-Packard continued to show strong signs of market penetration from the year before, which Anavitarte attributes to its effective marketing and pricing efforts as well as its positioning as a worldwide brand.