Despite a relatively weak fourth quarter, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to post strong growth in PC sales for 2001, given the current low penetration rates and the continuing role of the PC as the main Internet access device, IDC said in a statement.
China is easily the region's biggest market, with sales in 2000 of 7.17 million units, 45.1 per cent higher than in 1999. China now accounts for 36 per cent of all PC sales in the Asia-Pacific market outside of Japan.
The second-biggest market, South Korea, was also one of the fastest growing, as the country rebounded strongly from economic problems. PC sales to South Korea grew 75.3 per cent to reach 3.84 million units. South Korea now represents 19.3 per cent of the Asia-Pacific market.
In Australia, PC sales grew 5.2 per cent to 2.2 million during the year, maintaining the country's status as the Asia-Pacific region's third-largest PC market with 11 per cent market share. But vendors there suffered a disastrous fourth quarter, with sales down 12 per cent compared to the third quarter, according to IDC. However, according to another research group, Dataquest, the fourth quarter suffered a bigger slump. Preliminary findings by Dataquest that were also released this week showed sales in the fourth quarter of 2000 declined by 18 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2000 and decreased by 11 per cent compared to the previous year.
IDC claims these leading three countries now account for two-thirds of all PCs sold into the Asia-Pacific market.
India is now a major PC market, with sales growing 48.5 per cent during the year to reach a total of 1.63 million units. PC sales into India in 2001 will exceed those into Australia if current growth rates are maintained.
China's Legend Group Holdings is the region's largest-selling PC maker due to its dominance of its large home market. Legend's sales grew 96 per cent in the year to reach 2.1 million units, ahead of IBM (1.53 million), Samsung Electronics (1.48 million) and Compaq (1.29 million). No other vendor sold more than 1 million PCs during the year in the region.
IDC is a subsidiary of International Data Group Inc., the parent company of IDG News Service.