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North Africa PC market thriving says IDC

PC market reaches $550m in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia

PC markets in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia showed strong growth in 2007, according to a report from analyst company IDC.

Shipments of PCs in the three largest PC markets in the North Africa region, grew to nearly 620,000 in 2007, growth of more than 26%, to create a market worth around $550 million.

The market is dominated by desktops, which account for more than 80% if shipments and two-thirds of revenues, although notebooks, which make up 15% of shipments, are expected to show growth of over 30% in all three countries in the next five years.

Morocco was the overall market leader, accounting for 39% of shipments, due in part because of government support for development of the outsourcing industry. Algeria accounted for 33% and Tunisia 27%.

All of the countries have strong local assembly sectors, although global vendors HP, Fujitsu Siemens, Dell and Acer have the lion's share of the market. Global vendors need to stay focused on these markets however, warned Mehdi Mandre, research analyst, IDC Morocco.

"All the arrows may point up but that doesn't mean the growth curves will be smooth. The North African PC market is hot and, given the opportunities, it is hard to keep reality in focus - overall, grey market machines and refurbished machines are putting a real dent in vendor market share. Handling these issues means having a dedicated presence, an extensive network of connections in each country, and patience," Mandre said.

"While traditional dealers and value-added resellers will continue to be the largest sales channels in the three countries for the foreseeable future, retail will see a great deal of action. There will be a surge in both home and SME usage. Many customers will obtain machines at stores, meaning retail will represent the fastest growing distribution outlet and serve as a primary vehicle for vendors interested in increasing visibility and share in the three markets," he added.

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