MEA PC market sees healthy growth

But more declines are expected in the long-term, says latest IDC report

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MEA PC market sees healthy growth IDC said that portable PC shipments contributed in a meaningful way to the general PC market upswing (ITP Images)
By  Tom Paye Published  March 10, 2015

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC market showed 2.8% year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, which was the third successive quarter for to show positive growth, according to new findings from IDC.

In its report, IDC said that the region's PC market was continuing in its recovery from the well-publicised slump affecting global markets. Before the last three quarters showing year-over-year growth, the MEA PC market experienced seven consecutive quarters of decline, the research house said.

IDC said that portable PC shipments contributed in a meaningful way to the general PC market upswing. Portable PC shipments grew 4.3% year on year in Q4 2014 to reach 2.83 million units, while desktop shipments experienced much flatter growth of 0.4% over the same period to total 1.8 million units.

IDC also attributed the growth a return to a semblance of stability in certain key markets across the region. There was a recovery from the instability that plagued parts of the region in the corresponding quarter of 2013, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the ‘Rest of Middle East' sub-region, where the bulk of PC shipments can be attributed to Iraq and Iran, IDC said.

"The market's growth was also spurred by several mid- to large-scale education deliveries that took place across the region in Q4 2014, with the largest being in Pakistan," said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

"One of the biggest surprises of the quarter came from Turkey, where PC vendors shipped significantly higher quantities than a year earlier in fear of anticipated changes to import duties from the start of 2015. However, the consequence of this was that channels exited the quarter with high levels of inventory, which will inevitably have a negative impact on shipment volumes in Q1 2015."

The top three vendor rankings in terms of PC market share remained unchanged for the sixth consecutive quarter, IDC said. HP retained top spot, recording year-on-year growth of 17.3%. IDC said that the vendor maintains a notably stronger presence in Africa than the market's other key players.

Second-placed Lenovo once again posted the strongest year-on-year growth, with shipments up 38.2% for Q4 2014. Meanwhile, Dell lost some ground in third position, suffering a year-on-year decline of 0.8%. Asus ranked fourth, posting growth of 6.9%, while Acer ranked fifth, with a decline of 5.8%.

Combined, the top three vendors accounted for more than 65.0% share of the commercial demand seen in Q4 2014, IDC said.

Despite the positive results the past quarter, IDC warned that it expects the MEA PC market to suffer an overall decline of 3.9% year-on-year in 2015, with a total of 17.48 million units to be shipped over the 12-month period. This would be down to a number of factors, IDC said.

"The recent rapid decline in global oil and gas prices will have an impact on almost all parts of the region, although the extent of this will vary from country to country," Charakla said.

"In the longer term, IDC forecasts the PC market to remain almost flat from 2015 through to 2019."

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