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  • Indonesian PC Sales Drop by 80 Pct. in 1998
  • January 18, 1999 (JAKARTA) -- Personal computer sales in Indonesia are expected to reach only 70,000 units in 1998, possibly the worst year for PC sales in the country.
    The 1998 PC sales drop was more than 80 percent over 1997's figure of around 400,000 units.

    The prolonged economics crisis, followed by Indonesia's political crisis, has been blamed for the drop in PC sales in 1998.

    PC sales have dropped since early 1998 as the rupiah, Indonesia's currency, continued decreasing. That made prices of PCs jump significantly. In the first quarter of 1998, PC sales reached around 21,259 units, according to market research company International Data Corp. (IDC).

    The sales worsened in the second quarter, when the country changed its leadership and the riots burned Computer City in downtown Jakarta. Second-quarter PC sales were only around 12,000 units.

    IDC reported that PC sales in the third quarter of 1998 were better than the second quarter. Sales jumped around 50 percent to 18,712 units as the political situation became more stable, the exchange rate appreciated and the center of computer trading opened, followed by big exhibitions and promotion.

    Junaedi Aries, market analyst for IDC for Indonesia, said Indonesia's PC sales for the third quarter of 1998 were dominated by Acer Corp., with total sales of around 4,000 units, followed by IBM Corp. at around 2,800 units. Hewlett-Packard Co. had sales of around 2,700 units, and Compaq Computer Corp. had around 2,000 units, he said.

    PC sales in the third quarter in Indonesia were the worst compared to other Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries like Malaysia, which decreased by only 27 percent, and Thailand, down 44 percent. Korea, also hit by the economic crisis, saw PC sales decreases of 35 percent in the third quarter of 1998.

    Table PC Sales in Indonesia in 1997 and 1998



















    Source: IDC (*Prediction)

    PC sales in the country have actually showed good growth in the last five years until 1997, with growth around 25 percent on average. In 1993, PC sales were around 200,000 units. The figure jumped 30 percent to around 260,000 units in 1994. Sales increased by 15 percent in 1995 to around 300,000 units and reached around 390,000 units in 1996, according to data released by computer magazine Info Komputer.

    PC sales in Indonesia were still dominated by Acer in 1998, followed by Compaq, IBM and HP. Chief representative for Acer Computer Indonesia, Bobby Chang, said Acer held a market share of around 21 percent in 1998, higher than 1998's 15 percent share. Total sales of Acer in 1998 were around 15,000 units, he said.

    "The year of 1998 was difficult for Acer in Indonesia," Chang said. The revenue of Acer Computer decreased by 54 percent in 1998. And total PC sales in the country will reach only around 70,000 units, down 86 percent compared to 1997, Chang said.

    But the chief representative for Intel Indonesia, Werner Sutanto, is more optimistic about PC sales in 1998. Werner predicts that PC sales will reach around 100,000 units for 1998. That is because locally made computers showed good sales because they were priced less without lowering quality.

    While the economic situation in the country in 1999 is expected to improve over 1998, the government set the target of economic growth around 0 percent in 1999 compared to -13 percent in 1998, and the inflation rate will be around 17 percent in 1999 compared to 78 percent in 1998.

    IDC predicted that Indonesian PC sales in 1999 will reach only around 100,000 units due to the political situation in the country, said IDC analyst Junaedi said. PC sales may be good in the first quarter and fourth quarter of 1999, he said.

    (Alfia Rahmaniar, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Fri Jan 15 15:51:09 1999 PDT