Top of the pack

HP retained its number one position in both the desktop and notebook segments in the Middle East during the last quarter. While rival vendors recorded faster growth rates, HP claims that it is profitability that matters most, not just unit growth.

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By  Alex Malouf Published  November 29, 2004

HP retained its number one position in both the desktop and notebook segments in the Middle East during the last quarter. While rival vendors recorded faster growth rates, HP claims that it is profitability that matters most, not just unit growth. On the desktop side, HP, Dell and IBM were ranked first, second and third respectively. HP shipped a whopping 149,000 units during the third quarter of 2004 (12.7% of the total market share), which was 50,000 units higher than Dell’s shipments and 100,000 more units than IBM. But what will concern executives at HP is that the vendor's growth only stood at 0.2%, compared to Dell’s 75%. For mobile form factors the difference between positions was not so great, reflecting the increasing competition between vendors in this market segment. HP again came out king, but rivals Acer and Toshiba are catching up at a fast pace. HP shipped 76,000 units across the region, beating Acer by 23,000 units and Toshiba by 32,000 units. HP’s figures represent 23.8% of the total market share but its year-on-year growth of 15.9% was way below the market average, which stood at 68%. Year-on-year, Acer’s numbers tripled, and Toshiba’s growth stood at 73.9%. Speaking earlier today, Christoph Schell, Solutions Partner Organisation manager (ISE) and general manager, Personal Systems Group, HP Middle East, made light of the third quarter results and explained the reasons behind the vendor’s slow mobile growth. “The laptop market has seen increasing competition to a point where the business is not as profitable as it used to be. We are finding that there is increased profit in the desktop business, which we are excelling in.” “We are still clear number one across the desktops and mobile products and Gitex is normally a very competitive period. In the week between the 8th and the 15th August, the start of our Gitex period, my team sold 35,000 notebooks. Revenue is great but without profit it is pointless. While I am happy that we retained our number one position, I am much happier that we were able to hit our profitability goals,” Schell added.

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