New name on top

Change of champion in the UAE PC market

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By  Published  November 30, 2006

The UAE has a new PC leader in place after Acer dethroned rival HP during the third quarter. The Taiwanese manufacturer finally got its hands on the crown after shipping more than 50,000 desktop PCs and notebooks during the three months to the end of September — approximately 5,000 more than former number one HP.

While Acer’s proficiency in the notebook space has been serving it well right throughout the year, it was the company’s performance in the desktop PC space that caught the eye during the quarter. Desktop sales soared by 77% to 15,000 during the period to take it above HP, albeit it by just 900 units.

“We are delighted to take the number one spot for both desktops and notebooks,” said Krishna Murthy, general manager at Acer Middle East. “The UAE is the second largest market in the GCC and one of the most significant IT hubs for the whole of the Middle East and wider region.”

Some sources in the market suggest that a deal Acer struck in June to supply 21,000 Veriton2800 desktops to Emirates Airline could be the chief reason for its rise, but Omar Shihab, research manager for PCs and systems at IDC, claims Acer’s progress is down to more than a single contract. “The Emirates deal happened in the second quarter and it’s not like it’s one shipment as it is delivered over three years. Acer definitely benefited from growth in the retail market, but it also captured SOHO and SMB demand. That is the only growing sector within the desktop market that we are seeing in the UAE.”

Equally as notable as Acer’s elevation to top spot was Toshiba’s phenomenal performance in the notebook arena. It almost doubled the amount of laptops it shifted year-on-year in the UAE to 35,000 units and now trails Acer by just 0.1%. Dell also had a strong quarter and increased its mobile PC share from 9.5% to 12.2% after shipping 18,000 units.

The wider UAE PC market continues to expand and increased by 34% to more than 221,000 units during the third quarter. But what is becoming increasingly clear is the fact that the market is being squeezed into fewer and fewer hands as the leading lights of global PC manufacturing use the potent mix of volume, price and marketing spend to devastating effect.

In the notebook sector, the top 10 players now account for an overwhelming 96% of the market, illustrating just how difficult it has been for local players to muscle in on the action.

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