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Tablet adoption hampers Saudi PC market

Saudi PC market declines by 7.5% year on year during the final quarter of 2013.

Tablet adoption hampers Saudi PC market
442,818 units were shipped during Q4 2013, IDC said.

The increasing adoption of tablets and smartphones has hampered the Saudi Arabian PC market, according to the latest figures from market research firm IDC.

The Saudi PC market declined by 7.5% year on year during the final quarter of 2013, with a total 442,818 units being shipped, IDC said. Shipments of portable devices slumped by 16.9% over the same period, which is consistent with the global trend, the research house added.

According to Abdulaziz Alanazi, a research analyst at IDC Saudi Arabia, the declines were widely anticipated, given the market is still recovering from the major declines that the market suffered during the previous two quarters.

"The major inhibitor to the PC market's growth in Saudi Arabia is the perpetually rising demand for tablets and smartphones across the Kingdom," he was quoted as saying in a statement.

"The lack of consumer familiarity with Windows 8 is also an issue, as the new operating system is installed on most new PCs, which is delaying many purchase decisions."

IDC also cited the Saudi government's Nitiqat Saudisation programme as an inhibitor to local PC market growth. The legislation, which is designed to bring more Saudis into the labour market, has effectively increased the costs involved in acquiring staff, IDC said, leading to the closure of numerous businesses and the diversions of budgets away from PC purchases.

Dell was the top Saudi PC vendor in Q4 2014, thanks largely to the strong performance of its portable PCs when compared to the previous quarter, IDC said. The vendor garnered 28.4% of the market, shipping 125,880 units. Hewlett-Packard was the runner-up, with 22.7% of the market, while Toshiba came in third with 19.5% market share.

"Dell is seeing a lot of deals materialise in the commercial space and performed strongly in the education sector during the final quarter of the year," IDC's statement said.  

"HP secured second place in the rankings, posting a stable performance in both the commercial and consumer segments of the market. Toshiba slipped to third but still enjoys solid consumer confidence levels as a result of its strong brand name."

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