Toshiba tops notebook chart after third quarter showing

Japan-based vendor fends off stiff competition to become Middle East mobile PC champion and places faith in management team to maintain regional momentum

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By  Published  November 30, 2006

Notebook vendor Toshiba has vaulted to the top of the Middle East mobile PC market after growing shipments by more than 84% during the third quarter. The company shipped 88,400 units during the three months to the end of September — up from 48,000 in the same period last year — according to latest IDC data.

Toshiba now commands 24% of the regional laptop market compared with 17% a year ago. Former market leader Acer holds 21.5% while HP controls 20%.

Toshiba claims its rise to top spot follows strong growth in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman where it enjoys high brand visibility. It also had a solid quarter in the UAE where it almost doubled shipments to 35,000 units.

Ahmed Khalil, general manager at Toshiba Middle East, said: “2006 has by no means been an easy year for sales around the region, but I am proud to say that the efforts of my team coupled with a healthy mix of consumer and professional products have allowed us to ride the wave and come out on top of the game.”

Khalil claims that recent additions to Toshiba's management team across the region will allow the company to shore up its position and strengthen its link with local partners. At the end of October, Toshiba promoted Santosh Varghese to assistant general manager, while Moataz Reda was lured across a month previously from HP to run the firm’s Saudi arm. Elia Mansour — a former Toshiba product manager at Lebanese distributor PC Dealnet —was also brought on board to run affairs in Egypt and Lebanon.

“We are confident that our new strategy of appointing country managers on the ground, as has been the case in Saudi and the Levant, will allow us to maintain the lead in the region by enhancing customer intimacy and getting us closer to our channel and reseller network,” Khalil said.

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