The PC market in Brazil performed well in 2018, but this year's prospects are marred by macroeconomic uncertainty, analysts say.
According to IDC Brazil, PC sales saw a 7.5 percent increase last year, with 5,575 million units sold. Revenue was also up by 17 percent, with notebooks accounting for 10.3 billion reais ($2.63 billion) while desktops represented 3.6 billion reais ($781,000) of the total PC sales over last year.
Of all the computers sold in 2018, 3,920 million were notebooks, of which 903,000 were purchased by corporate buyers, a segment that saw 38 percent growth.
Notebooks prices increased by 10 percent in Brazil last year, costing an average of 2,665 reais ($680), while desktop prices were up 8 percent, with an average price tag of 2,212 ($565).
"The oscillation of the dollar [against the Brazilian real] continued to impact prices, but the market was able to grow thanks to businesses, where there was a heavy investment in notebooks to provide more mobility to employees, especially in models with better performance," says IDC Brazil analyst Wellington La Falce.
Despite the growth seen of late, IDC Brazil predicts tough times ahead for the PC industry in 2019, particularly in the first three months. The analysis forecasts a 7.5 percent decline, with 1.230 million units in the first quarter of 2019.
"By the end of 2018, sales did not reach the expected levels and companies started the year started with full stocks. That could mean retailers will not be re-supply in the first quarter," La Falco points out, adding that prices may increase again if injunctions against the end of incentives for the sector are overturned.
The Brazilian corporate market is also predicted to rein in spending on PCs in 2019, according to IDC.
"Companies will be apprehensive about taxation. The change of government was seen positively, however while plans don't materialize, the market will hold back on investments," La Falce concludes.