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MEA PC market grows after two year lull

PC shipments up 2.2% in Q2 2014, first growth in seven quarters, says IDC

MEA PC market grows after two year lull
PC shipments grew 2.2% year-on-year in Q2.

The MEA PC market has returned to growth after nearly two years of decline, according to the latest figures from IDC.

Sales of PCs in the Middle East and Africa region grew 2.2% from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014, to total of 4.5 million units shipped in the quarter. The market had declined for the previous seven quarters.

Both shipments of desktop and portable PCs grew, with desktops up 2.9% to 1.8 million units, and portables up 1.7% to 2.7 million units. Sales of ultra-slim notebooks and all-in-one PCs were both strong.

The biggest growth in PC shipments was witnessed in the ‘Rest of Middle East' sub-region, which comprises Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and Afghanistan, despite no vendors making any official PC shipments into these countries.

"The high volumes of devices seen entering this sub-region came as parallel imports through second- and third-tier resellers," said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. "However, parts of this sub-region have recently witnessed increased levels of instability, particularly in Iraq, and demand is now forecast to slow down slightly as a result, although we don't expect these developments to prevent overall growth for 2014.

"Other countries to experience growth in the region during Q2 2014 included Saudi Arabia and emerging markets such as Pakistan and parts of Africa. The healthy shipments seen in most countries can either be attributed to a recovery from instability - be it economic, political, or social - or to previously low PC penetration rates. Bearing this in mind, Egypt and Nigeria are expected to be among the region's fastest growing PC markets for the year 2014."

HP maintained the highest PC market share in the region during Q2 2014. The vendor posted strong year-on-year growth of 26.1%, with the fastest growth seen in the consumer space. Maintaining its position at number two, Lenovo was the fastest growing multinational vendor in the MEA PC market, with shipments increasing 71.2% year on year. Similar to HP, the vendor's strong performance was primarily rooted in the consumer segment. Dell maintained its position at number three, despite suffering a mild year-on-year decline of 3.3% following a weak performance in the consumer segment. Acer and Asus ranked fourth and fifth, with shipments rising 15.1% and 40.1% year on year, respectively.

IDC expects the market to continue to grow in the third quarter, with shipments increasing 10.6% to total 4.6 million units. The delivery of two massive education projects in Pakistan will contribute to this growth. IDC forecasts year-on-year growth for 2014 overall at 1.6%, although demand is expected to remain close to flat for the years 2015 and beyond.

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