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maui realtor - In between dot-bomb jokes and pink-slip parties, it's easy to forget that Internet use is still growing at a pretty good clip worldwide, and more users means more e-commerce transactions. Nearly 1 billion people, about 15 percent of the world's population, will be using the Internet by 2005, International Data Corp. (IDC) found, and their use will fuel more than $5 trillion in Internet commerce. That represents a staggering 70 percent compound annual growth rate when compared to Internet spending of $354 billion in 2000. "With the dot-com stock crash and U.S. economic doldrums so much in the news, it's easy to lose sight of the explosive growth in Internet usage and commerce taking place below the surface," said John Gantz, IDC's chief research officer. "More than 100 million new users come onto the Web every year, and corporate volume purchasing over the Web is just getting cranked up. Add to that the proliferation of mobile phones and other Internet access devices that will allow people to access the Internet anytime, anywhere, and you have a scenario for explosive growth."With the much-publicized periods of hypergrowth over, and with the mature markets topping out, Internet use in the coming years will be widespread, as opposed to dominated by a single region. In 2000, the United States accounted for 34 percent of Internet users, with Europe at 29 percent, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) at 16 percent, Japan at 10 percent, and rest of world at 11 percent. But growth in the number of Internet users in Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world -- especially in Latin American countries -- will quickly outpace growth in more developed countries such as the United States, Canada and major European nations. By 2005, the balance of Internet users will completely shift, with Asia-Pacific rivaling Europe for the most Internet users while the United States slips to third place. Similar shifts will occur among e-commerce. The United States currently accounts for just under half (46 percent) of total e-commerce. By 2005, however, its share will dip to 36 percent, according to IDC.

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