Growth in antivirus spend in Middle East region among world's highest, as security market converges

Consolidation remains the name of the game in the enterprise system management software market, not only throughout 2005 but well into 2006, and is likely to continue for some years to come.

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By  Administrator Published  September 30, 2006

The growth in the sales of enterprise and consumer antivirus software at 17.7% in the Middle East and Africa region was the second highest in the world last year with only Canada's growth exceeding it with 25.8%.

Worldwide antivirus total software revenue totaled US$4 billion in 2005, a 13.6 percent increase from 2004 revenue, according to Gartner. The market was relatively evenly split between the enterprise and consumer segments, with the enterprise segment at a 51.5% market share.

"Beyond antivirus, users also require anti-spyware capabilities and certain behavior-blocking and firewall-type functionality for their desktops. Currently, it is necessary to buy four or more separate products.

However, the market for individual desktop security products is beginning to converge, and existing vendors will move in the general direction of end-point security suites," says Nicole Latimer-Livingston, principal research analyst for Gartner.

The antivirus software market is a mature market with the top three vendors accounting for 86% of the market in 2005. Symantec continued to dominate with a 53.6% share. McAfee and Trend Micro followed with 18.8% and 13.8% respectively.

Server revenue declines despite volume increase

Revenue from server sales in the Middle East declined year-on-year by 2.3%, although shipments grew 7.7% to a total of 563,000 units, according to IDC's EMEA Quarterly Server Tracker. This was the third consecutive quarter that has seen negative revenue growth coupled with positive unit growth.

Middle East and Africa revenues increased 1.2% and units grew 16% annually. X86 system shipments in EMEA grew 10% year-on-year, increasing unit share to 46% and revenue share to 93%. Sales of Opteron servers grew 110% over the same period last year in EMEA, with shipments up 92%.

Sales of Linux servers in EMEA reached US$460 million, a sales increase of 34% year-on-year, while Windows suffered a decline of 2%, generating US$1,299 million in the second quarter.

Inkjets lose out as multi-function products become more affordable option

The combined page printer, copier and multi-functional product (MFP) grew 5% in the first half of 2006 in EMEA, according to Gartner. Shipments totalled 22 million units.

Colour page copier sales increased by 98% and inkjet MFP sales by 24% in the first half of the year, helping to fuel the rise, and a combination of more colour offerings and lower average selling prices stimulated colour penetration in the business segment.

However, demand for single function inkjet printers fell as consumers opted for better value MFPs.

"Hewlett-Packard excelled in the colour page market by gaining 14 percent market share points from its competitors in the second quarter of 2006, which helped the company secure its domination in the first half of 2006.

It also performed well in the inkjet market thanks to a good mix of both MFPs and printer offerings, an aggressive advertising campaign across Europe and competitive prices," said Cecile Drew, principal analyst at Gartner. In the first half of 2006, low-end page printers boosted the overall page printer market and became an affordable alternative to inkjet devices for customers.

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