Source: Business 24/7
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) personal computer (PC) market grew 7.4 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2011, according to preliminary results released by IDC, the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm for the information technology and telecommunications markets.
A total of 4.7 million devices were shipped in third quarter of 2011, with notebook shipments up 15.1 per cent year on year to 2.94 million and desktop shipments down 3.3 per cent to 1.78 million.
HP maintained its leading position on the MEA PC market in Q3, recording strong year-on-year growth of 37.1 per cent, primarily driven by its aggressively-priced consumer notebook portfolio. Fierce competition from rival vendors prevented second-placed Dell from replicating the strong growth it posted in 2010, while Toshiba overcame supply issues that inhibited its performance in Q2 2011 to record a 28.6 per cent year-on-year increase in shipments, which placed it third in the vendor rankings.
Taiwanese vendor Acer slumped to fourth place after suffering a drop in shipments for the second consecutive quarter. Ongoing efforts to clear its pre-existing inventory of PCs in certain parts of the region caused the vendor to lose focus on boosting shipments, resulting in a 39 per cent year-on-year decline. Lenovo rounded out the top five PC vendors in the MEA in Q3 2011, with healthy growth on the back of heavy investment in its marketing capabilities and strong efforts to solidify its channel structures across the region.
“The PC markets of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt all exceeded expectations as vendors aggressively sought to boost shipments into these countries by targeting consumers with price promotions, especially in the notebook segment,” said Fouad Charakla, a senior research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
“The Egyptian market was supported by a faster-than-expected recovery from the political turmoil that plagued the country earlier in the year, while Turkey experienced a significant slowdown due to currency fluctuations. The performance of South Africa’s PC market was in line with expectations.”
These latest figures from IDC come hot on the heels of the Middle East’s biggest annual technology event, Gitex (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition), which took place in Dubai in October. The week-long ICT extravaganza hosted more than 3,000 IT market players from around the world and attracted well over 100,000 visitors, with the “Gitex Shopper” event proving to be particularly popular. “Over the years, PC vendors and distributors have gradually backed out of the main Gitex exhibition, opting instead to strengthen their presence at Gitex Shopper, using it as a platform to directly boost their sales volumes,” says Rafiya Quadri at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
“This year, PC market players not only offered significant price reductions on their products, but also bundled them with free giveaways, including cash-back vouchers, IT components, and accessories. The event saw fewer product launches and was geared more towards price wars between vendors.”
Bucking this trend, a key feature of Gitex 2011 was the launch of “ultrabooks” by several PC vendors, including Acer, Asus, and Lenovo. These ultraportable devices are slimmer and lighter than a standard notebook and are currently being aggressively promoted by Intel, which anticipates the devices becoming mainstream within the next 12 months.
“Despite Intel’s bold outlook for the ultrabook form factor, IDC expects the devices to garner only a small share of the region’s PC market at their present price of around $1,000,” said Charakla.
“However, there is no doubt that ultrabooks will prove attractive to the consumer segment, so we expect to see this share increase rapidly as prices fall.”
The event also saw the launch of AMD’s new Fusion APU processors, which incorporate graphic processors and memory controllers into the same chip, and showcased a range of innovative eservice initiatives aimed at facilitating government transactions online.