The Asia-Pacific IT market (excluding Japan) was worth $71.7bn in 2002, just 2.6% higher than in 2001. But IDC figures have indicated that 2003 will see growth of 7.6%, followed by 11.7% growth in 2004.
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However, the precise growth figure for this year remains uncertain as the panic surrounding the Sars outbreak overshadows the region, IDC Asia-Pacific managing director Piyush Singh said.
The low growth figure for 2002 was caused by price erosion for IT products across the region, and a slowdown in IT spending in China, the region's largest IT market, and in India, one of its fastest-growing markets. Those two markets will begin to pick up in 2004 and will be the main market drivers next year, according to IDC.
Several Asian countries posted falls in their IT markets in 2002. These include Hong Kong (down 13.9%), Singapore (down 7.8%), Malaysia (down 4.8%) Philippines (down 3.8%) and Taiwan (down 2.5%)
All the region's markets are expected to grow in 2003, with growth rates ranging from India (13.2%) and China (11.6%t) down to Hong Kong (0.8%) and New Zealand (1.5%).
IDC predicted that growth would be stronger across the region in 2004, pushing the market up from $77.1bn this year to $86.2bn next year.
Fastest-growing markets in 2004 will be India (19.5%), China (16.9%) the Philippine (14.6%) Vietnam (13.2%) and South Korea (10.3%). Laggards will include Singapore (4.9%), New Zealand (5.7%), Australia (6.1%) and Hong Kong (6.2%.
Hardware is the largest sector of the Asia-Pacific IT market, accounting for 63% of revenue in 2001. This will fall to 59% in 2004 as the market share of services grows from 24.6% to 28.4% of the overall market.