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MEA PC market shows healthy growth in Q3

Competition between vendors drives third quarter growth says IDC

MEA PC market shows healthy growth in Q3
Notebook shipments increased in MEA, but PC shipments declined.

Aggressive pricing helped drive PC shipments in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt in Q3, according to IDC.

The analyst company said that the overall PC market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region grew 7.4% year-on-year in the third quarter, with shipments up to 4.7 million devices.

Notebook shipments grew 15.1% to 2.94 million units, while desktop shipments were down 3.3% 1.78 million.

"The PC markets of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt all exceeded expectations as vendors aggressively sought to boost shipments into these countries by targeting consumers with price promotions, especially in the notebook segment," said Fouad Charakla, a senior research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

"The Egyptian market was supported by a faster-than-expected recovery from the political turmoil that plagued the country earlier in the year, while Turkey experienced a significant slowdown due to currency fluctuations. The performance of South Africa's PC market was in line with expectations," he added.

HP once again led the market, with strong growth of 37.1%, mainly attributed to aggressive pricing of consumer notebooks. Dell was in second place, while Toshiba was third, with a record 28.6% year-on-year increase in shipments.

Acer's inventory problems saw shipments drop 39% year-on-year, putting it in fourth place, while Lenovo was in fifth, thanks to heavy investment in marketing and channels.

This year's Gitex Shopper also typified the fierce competition between vendors, according to Rafiya Quadri at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, with few product launches and lots of promotions from PC vendors.

"Over the years, PC vendors and distributors have gradually backed out of the main Gitex exhibition, opting instead to strengthen their presence at Gitex Shopper, using it as a platform to directly boost their sales volumes. This year, PC market players not only offered significant price reductions on their products, but also bundled them with free giveaways, including cash-back vouchers, IT components, and accessories. The event saw fewer product launches and was geared more towards price wars between vendors," Quadri said.

IDC noted that while the first ultrabook models from companies including Acer, Asus, and Lenovo were on show on the sidelines of Gitex, it does not expect the device to ramp up in sales in the MEA region at present price points.

"Despite Intel's bold outlook for the ultrabook form factor, IDC expects the devices to garner only a small share of the region's PC market at their present price of around $1,000," said Charakla. "However, there is no doubt that ultrabooks will prove attractive to the consumer segment, so we expect to see this share increase rapidly as prices fall."

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