Middle East PC use set to rocket

PC penetration in the region will double by 2008 according to Madar Research Group, due primarily to huge future demand for low- priced PCs.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  July 25, 2005

PC penetration in the region will double by 2008 according to Madar Research Group, due primarily to huge future demand for low- priced PCs. Madar’s prediction, which was announced this week by eSys Technologies, suggests the number of PCs used in the GCC and Levant regions will double by 2008, fuelled in part by government driven PC initiatives such as Saudi Arabia’s ‘PCs for Homes’. The total number of PCs Madar expects will be sold between the two regional blocs from 2003 to 2008 will be 15 million units. Breaking this down further, the GCC will is expected to race ahead with average PC penetration of around 14%, compared to the projected penetration of 5.1% of the Levant countries. This means that, should the expected sales occur, the next three years will see the region narrow the gap in PC penetration with its European Union counterparts. Madar’s study predicts that Lebanon and Jordan will be among the fastest adopters of PC technologies in the Levant area, with PC penetration of 15.8% and 13.9% expected by 2008 (against a regional average of 7%). PC sales in Iraq in particular are expected to take a quantum leap by 2008, while Egypt is expected to see the highest growth in PC sales overall over the five-year period. “A number of factors are fuelling the PC sector in the Middle East,” suggested Pavan Gupta, general manager of eSys Technologies Middle East, a regional IT component distributor. “For one, governments are strongly pushing e-government initiatives, a move that will make people IT savvy in due course of time. Secondly, several countries in the region are providing incentives for the development of an IT industry. Thirdly, the business environment is becoming increasingly IT-savvy.” “The GCC and the Levant are certainly very vibrant markets for PCs, but the key factor is going to be pricing as the market is highly price sensitive,” Gupta added. “This is where eSys sees tremendous scope. Most of the buyers will look for low-priced PCs and it will be a challenge to most IT distributors and manufacturers to meet the demands of this price-sensitive market.” eSys Technologies Middle East, a subsidiary of its Singapore-based parent firm of the same name, claims to be the fastest growing IT distribution company in the world, having Dubai its regional headquarters. The firm also claims its Jebel Ali production facility is capable of producing a massive 400,000 PCs a year.

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