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Levant PC markets returning to growth

PC markets in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria showing growth in 2007 despite instability and sanctions

The Levant PC market is set to recover from recent instability to post 23.7% year on year revenue growth for 2007, according to IDC.

Latest figures from the analyst company predict shipment growth of 22% to 282,000 units shipped in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria this year, compared to single digit shipment growth and flat revenue in 2006.

Growth will be driven by Internet expansion, increased demand for mobility solutions and investments in core sectors of telecom, education, government and banking, according to the report, with average annual growth of 19% until 2011.

The sector is dominated by desktops, making up 71.5% of shipments in 2006, with notebooks taking 26.3% and x86 servers 2.2%. Both the notebook and server segment are predict to expand rapidly over the next five years.

Jordan is positioned for strongest growth, with shipments growing 25.1% to 120,000 in 2007, predominantly through demand for notebooks from the SMB and SOHO segment and through desktop and server roll outs in vertical sectors.

Lebanon and Syria are also predicted to grow, but ongoing political instability in the former and US sanctions imposed on the latter continue to hinder development. For Lebanon, growth is expected to be 17.7%, for 92,000 units shipped, and for Syria, growth is 23.9% to reach over 70,000 units.

Rami Barbarawi, research analyst, IDC Middle East and Africa commented: "The ongoing political and economic instability in the Levant region makes the PC and general IT markets unpredictable. Nevertheless, untapped demand should keep the market going; though it may be uneven for a while, particularly in Syria and Lebanon."

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