Middle East PC sales still strong

Booming demand for notebooks is driving growth in the Arab Middle East PC market, according to the latest figures from analyst firm IDC, which show 13% growth in the first half of this year across the entire region.

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By  Peter Branton Published  August 27, 2003

Booming demand for notebooks is driving growth in the Arab Middle East PC market, according to the latest figures from analyst firm IDC, which show 13% growth in the first half of this year.

While growth came from all form factors, the firm said, notebook sales increased the most, up 66% year-on-year. Overall, PC shipments for the first six months of this year in to the Arab PC market reached 678,651 units, according to IDC’s estimate.

For the UAE, growth was driven by notebook sales and PC servers, which expanded 57% year-on-year, due mainly to aggressive pricing for low-end servers aimed at the SMB market by vendors. Notebook growth was driven by the emergence of new mobile computing technologies, notably Intel’s Centrino.

According to IDC, while the UAE benefited from the rapid conclusion of the war in Iraq, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did not enjoy the same benefits, thanks to the instability caused by the Riyadh bombings, which affected the tourism sector. The Saudi PC market experienced a decline of 8% in shipments compared to the preceding year. However, the positive story for notebooks continued, with sales soaring. “Aggressive pricing strategies provided considerable momentum to the already booming consumer notebook market,” said Omar Shihab, research analyst IDC Middle East and North Africa. “Consumer notebook shipments have grown by an impressive 71% year-on-year.”

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