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Laptop sales to soar

This year’s Gitex Shopper will allow consumers the opportunity to view the very latest in notebook technology as demand soars across the region. The analysts at IDC have come up with some sizzling sales predictions for the PC sector in the GCC.

This year’s Gitex Shopper will allow consumers the opportunity to view the very latest in notebook technology as demand soars across the region. The analysts at IDC have come up with some sizzling sales predictions for the PC sector in the GCC.

The research house reckons that unit shipments will soar 39% in full year 2006 to 2.2 million units and climb a further 25% in 2007 to a mammoth 2.8 million units.

During 2005, notebook sales soared 75% to hit 768,000 units in the GCC. “The flexibility notebooks afford is now seen as essential to business in the region,” says Omar Shihab, research manager at IDC. “Small and home offices and small and medium-sized businesses in particular invested heavily in portables and will continue to do so, especially as wireless technology makes mobility a growing reality.”

The top three vendors in the GCC — HP, Acer and Dell — accounted for 62% of units sold in 2005 and close to US$950m in revenues. Notebooks should overtake desktops and become the dominant form factor in the GCC before the end of
2006, according to analysts’ latest predictions.

Saudi Arabia and UAE remain the GCC powerhouses for PC sales with Kuwait the third biggest national market. “The UAE’s commercial centres are still booming — firmly rooted businesses are expanding and new firms are moving in,” says Shihab. “Although this has spurred demand in the Emirates, the Saudi market is actually growing faster overall.”

Visitors to GITEX Shopper will be able to see some of the latest developments in laptop technology from AMD and Intel. As laptops have become increasingly popular, manufacturers are starting to include features only seen in high-end gaming and business machines until recently.

Intel’s new Core 2 Duo range of dual-core processors allow users to experience unheard-of levels of speed in a laptop; at the same time, its efficient design means power and heat are not an issue, unlike earlier laptop models.

Graphics giants Nvidia and ATi are also porting their latest hardware into laptop-friendly formats.

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