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PC sales rise again

Research from IDC has revealed that desktop and portable device sales are on the increase in the MEA region.Desktop sales have increased 2.9% year-on-year to reach 1.8 million units, while portable sales have increased 1.7% to reach 2.7 million units.

The Middle East and Africa PC market brought seven successive quarters of year-on-year declines to a halt in Q2 2014, posting a long-awaited annual growth of 2.2% to total 4.5 million units. Compiled by global advisory and consutling services firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the figures show growth in both the desktop and portable product categories, with the former growing 2.9% year on year to reach 1.8 million units and the latter expanding 1.7% over the same period to total 2.7 million units.

The biggest growth in PC shipments was witnessed in the ‚ÄòRest of Middle East’ sub-region, which comprises Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and Afghanistan, despite no vendors making any official PC shipments into these countries. “The high volumes of devices seen entering this sub-region came as parallel imports through second- and third-tier resellers,” says Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. “However, parts of this sub-region have recently witnessed increased levels of instability, particularly in Iraq, and demand is now forecast to slow down slightly as a result, although we don’t expect these developments to prevent overall growth for 2014.

“Other countries to experience growth in the region during Q2 2014 included Saudi Arabia and emerging markets such as Pakistan and parts of Africa,” continues Charakla. “The healthy shipments seen in most countries can either be attributed to a recovery from instability ‚Äî be it economic, political, or social ‚Äî or to previously low PC penetration rates. Bearing this in mind, Egypt and Nigeria are expected to be among the region’s fastest growing PC markets for the year 2014.

Looking at products, all-in-ones continued to gain share within the desktop space, spurred by growing demand from both the commercial and consumer segments, while ultraslim notebooks continue to grow strongly within the portable PC space. However, convertible notebooks did not fare as well, primarily due to their high price points and tough competition from 2-in-1 tablets.

Looking at the vendor rankings, HP maintained the highest PC market share in the region during Q2 2014. The vendor posted strong year-on-year growth of 26.1%, with the fastest growth seen in the consumer space. Maintaining its position at number two, Lenovo was the fastest growing multinational vendor in the MEA PC market, with shipments increasing 71.2% year on year. Similar to HP, the vendor’s strong performance was primarily rooted in the consumer segment. Dell maintained its position at number three, despite suffering a mild year-on-year decline of 3.3% following a weak performance in the consumer segment. Acer and Asus ranked fourth and fifth, with shipments rising 15.1% and 40.1% year on year, respectively.

As previously forecast, the region’s PC market is expected to experience yet another quarter of year-on-year growth in Q3 2014, with shipments increasing 10.6% to total 4.6 million units. The delivery of two massive education projects in Pakistan will contribute to this growth. IDC forecasts year-on-year growth for 2014 overall at 1.6%, although demand is expected to remain close to flat for the years 2015 and beyond.

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