PC shipments expected to soar in GCC channel

The numbercrunchers at IDC have gazed into their crystal balls and come up with some sizzling sales predictions for the PC sector in the GCC. The research house reckons that unit shipments will soar 39% in full year 2006 to 2.2 million units and climb a further 25% in 2007 to a mammoth 2.8 million units.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  August 30, 2006

The numbercrunchers at IDC have gazed into their crystal balls and come up with some sizzling sales predictions for the PC sector in the GCC. The research house reckons that unit shipments will soar 39% in full year 2006 to 2.2 million units and climb a further 25% in 2007 to a mammoth 2.8 million units. IDC estimates that PC sales in the GCC in 2005 totalled 1.6 million units as the market value hit US$1.8 billion. IDC counts desktops, notebooks and x86 servers as a PC sale in its research. Strong demand for notebooks and large desktop projects from the government and education sectors fuelled growth. A-brand vendors also continued to squeeze out local assemblers and non-branded imports in the GCC, raising their market share from 79% to 84% in 2005. Saudi Arabia and UAE remain the GCC powerhouses for PC sales with Kuwait the third biggest national market. “The UAE’s commercial centres are still booming — firmly rooted businesses are expanding and new firms are moving in,” said Omar Shihab, research manager PCs and systems at IDC Middle East and Africa. “Although this has spurred demand in the Emirates, the Saudi market is actually growing faster overall.” While in-country consumption is undoubtedly on the rise in the UAE, the country’s role as a re-export and trading hub for PCs eventually destined for other markets (including Iran) continues to account for a significant proportion of shipments into the local channel. During 2005, notebook sales soared 75% to hit 768,000 units in the GCC but desktops remained the dominant form factor by a small margin. The x86 server market climbed 40% to approximately 40,000 units. “The flexibility notebooks afford is now seen as essential to business in the region,” added Shihab. “Small and home offices and small and medium-sized businesses in particular invested heavily in portables and will continue to do so, especially as wireless technology makes mobility a growing reality.” The top three vendors in the GCC — namely HP, Acer and Dell — collectively accounted for 62% of shipments in 2005 and close to US$950m in sales. Notebooks are expected to overtake desktop shipments and become the dominant form factor in the GCC before the end of calendar 2006.

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