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Tech Industry

Asia PC shipments post meager quarterly growth

Shipment of PCs in the Asia-Pacific region increase by a mere 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2000.

SINGAPORE--Shipment of PCs in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, increased by a mere 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2000, compared with the previous quarter, market research firm IDC said.

The PC market surpassed 5.4 million units in the fourth quarter, an increase of 34 percent over the same period in 1999, IDC said.

"The fourth quarter is typically strong for PC sales in most Asia-Pacific countries, but the region faced weak currencies, jittery stock markets, and economic uncertainties...which ultimately resulted in a slight correction of growth," IDC Research Manager Davina Yeo said in a statement.

But IDC is optimistic that the region will witness "strong expansion" in PC sales this year. "The primary growth drivers remain rooted in factors such as low penetration rates and the PC being the main Internet access device," Yeo said.

She added that in mature markets such as Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, economic and political problems were inhibitors for buyers looking to buy a replacement or second PC. "As such, these markets recorded sequential growths of -12 percent, -11.4 percent and -0.5 percent, respectively."

Korea and China were major contributors to the slight improvement in the fourth quarter, registering 26.8 percent growth and 58.2 percent growth, respectively.

"Both countries provided the necessary boost to the regional market, with each country growing in excess of 6 percent from the third quarter last year," IDC said. "After two quarters of disappointing results, the Korean market rebounded as businesses resumed spending. In China, PC growth was stable, with local vendors continuing to gain ground."

China's Legend Computer Systems led in regional market share, ahead of more established players like IBM, Compaq Computer and Hewlett-Packard.'s Nawaz Marican reported from Singapore.