Distributors and the great mobility surge

The rapid growth of smartphones and tablets has got most Dubai-based distributors to focus on this sector with many unveiling mobility business units.

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Distributors and the great mobility surge Channel Middle East editor Manda Banda says Dubai-based Distributors are focusing more and more on smartphones and tablets. ((ITP Images))
By  Manda Banda Published  June 19, 2013

The rapid growth of smartphones and tablets has got most Dubai-based distributors to focus on this sector with many unveiling mobility business units.

This month we reveal the 2013 Power List, our annual ranking by sales revenues of the top Dubai-based IT distributors.

Currently in the ninth year, the Power List survey has expanded to include distribution players in the KSA – a market that is crucial to all major vendors and regional distributors.

Taking into consideration the companies that made the list, the distribution business they conducted in financial year 2012 was over $5bn.

Distributors featured this year remain optimistic about business prospects especially in the second half of the year despite continued political instability in some countries, reduced credit and over-competition in the market.

Interestingly, all those polled this year are aware that the IT sector might not get back to experience the sort of growth it enjoyed at its peak in 2007. Consequently, most distributors have revealed strategic moves that are leading them to recognise the rapid growth the tablets and smartphone market is experiencing.

With talk of the PC’s demise accelerating in recent months, volume distributors have been challenged to reinvent their business models.

In fact, most distributors we surveyed have confirmed having a mobile business division or are intending to launch one soon. So what’s really behind this shift? It is not surprising that IT distributors have taken note of what’s happening in the mobile sector given that every analyst and market research firm is delivering the same numbers – tablets and smartphone figures are growing, while PC sales are dipping.

While some distributors were early to get involved in the tablets and smartphone game, those that are late will find it increasingly hard to make any significant headway not because their offerings are inferior, but because of over-competition.

The traditional distribution model may have been in fashion for over a decade, but the market has changed rapidly in the past few years.

Having a mobile division will not bring your business overnight success. Firms that will succeed in the mobility space are those that adapt quickly to the changing market around them and continue to innovate.

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