Levant PC shipments to exceed 200,000 units for 2004

According to IDC MENA, the Levant region's (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria) PC market is expected to cross the 200,000 mark in 2004 driven by a surge in demand for PCs from the government sector.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  January 14, 2004

Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria) PC market Expected to Cross the 200,000 Mark in 2004, according to IDC MENA. IDC's latest PC market forecast covering the Levant countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria suggest the region's PC shipments to reach 212,223 units by the end of 2004. IDC research indicates a surge in demand for PCs in the region, particularly within the government administration and education sectors - fuelled mainly by grants provided by Western government and/or agencies. The Levant countries are attempting to attract foreign investment by implementing economic reforms - as evidenced by the region commitment to join the WTO, the move towards the full implementation of e-government initiatives and the opening up of banking sectors to the private sector. IDC believes this would create further inflows of FDI in the coming year, translating into higher spending on PCs and related technologies. In the private sector, spending will be influenced by vendors' efforts to attract the increased spending of consumers and SMEs. IDC's results for the year 2002 in the Levant indicate personal computer (PC) shipments reaching 153,922 units. Some of the notable factors that influenced PC sales growth in the region included a select few large-scale projects, as well as an increased uptake within the SME and SoHo segments. Despite declining ASVs and end-user demand for cheaper desktops and portable PCs, shipment value increased to US$153.52 million in the Levant region in 2002. The year 2002 reflected many political and economic pressures within the Levant countries. “The tense situation in Iraq and the Palestinian territories, changes within local governments and the implementation of a new VAT system were main inhibitors of the market.Many businesses were cautious in their IT investments during 2002, however, numerous projects within the government and banking sectors were carried out, especially in Syria and Jordan,” says Omar Shihab, research analyst, PC & Systems Group, IDC MENA. Lebanon was the largest market among the countries examined in the latest IDC PC market study. The PC market in the country reached 64,136 units with a value of US$64.96 million, to constitute 41.7% of total volume and 42.3% of value on the Levant PC market. The second-largest PC market was Syria, which totaled 45,038 units valued at US$41.79 million. Jordan was third with 44,748 units valued at US$46.78 million. International vendors intensified efforts to strengthen their position within the Levant market after long domination from local assemblers. HP (including Compaq), Acer, Comtek (Lebanon), Dell and IBM rounded off the top 5 positions in the Levant PC market in 2002. Dropping ASV's, and strong participation within government and education tenders, along with global agreements with major end-users in the Levant all helped boost international vendor's share within the market. This is however less evident in an embargoed country such as Syria, where most shipments of international vendors are undertaken through neighboring countries. Portables are beginning to see more interest from end-users and therefore vendors pushed their models heavily in the market last year. Shipments of portables reached 16,686 units in the Levant in 2002 for a total value of US$24.69 million. Greater competition between notebook vendors and the increased participation of Far East vendors in the portable segment drove down ASVs on mobile products, making notebook PCs more accessible to a wider spectrum of end users. Growing sectors in the economy such as the SoHo and SME segments are investing more than ever in mobile technology. The PC market in the Levant region is far from saturation, and still lags behind to more developed markets of the Gulf region, however, towards the end of IDC's forecast period (2005), says IDC. “There will be new opportunities for PC vendors to upgrade and replace existing PCs in large enterprises and the government sectors. There will also be opportunities for targeting the emerging SoHo, SME, and education sectors, where further growth is expected throughout the forecast period. The dynamics of the Levant PC market are changing, and vendors that are able to adapt to the changes will be able to grow,” adds Shihab.

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