Desktop growth not enough to prevent overall OGCC PC market decline
Bahrain shoulders bulk of shrinkage as political tensions blamed for overall regional downturn
Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar, categorised as Other Gulf Co-operation Council (OGCC) countries, saw their combined PC market decline 4.2%, year on year, in the second quarter of 2014, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
The research company announced that PC shipments to the region during the three months ending June totalled 217,698 units, with Bahrain shouldering the bulk of the overall market's decline.
The PC markets of Qatar and Oman experienced minor year-on-year declines of 3.3% each, during Q2 2014, while shipments to Kuwait were up 1.7% over the same period. In Bahrain, meanwhile, the PC market suffered a bruising 21.4% year-on-year decline in shipments during Q2 2014, with the country currently in the grips of ongoing political and social unrest. Both Kuwait and Bahrain have been experiencing internal political tensions since 2011 as a result of the ripple effects caused by the Arab Spring uprising that started late 2010, but the latter appears to be suffering the most.
Another contributory factor to the poor performance of the OGCC PC market is ongoing cannibalisation from tablets and smartphones.
"A quick comparison of the OGCC's portable PC segment with the region's tablet market paints a very clear picture," said Adriana Rangel, a research director at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.
"While tablet shipments were up an impressive 13%, year on year, in Q2 2014, the portable PC segment suffered a significant 16% reverse. The decline in portable PC shipments can be seen clearly in the consumer segment, and IDC forecasts reveal the decline will continue to be felt over the coming years.''
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The performance of the desktop PC product category fluctuated across the four OGCC countries, but Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar all posted year-on-year growth for Q2 2014.
"The increase in desktop shipments to these countries can primarily be attributed to the delivery of significant deals in the public sector," said Feras Ibrahim, a research analyst at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.
"Many government entities in the OGCC region remain loyal to the desktop PC product category since they regard security as a major concern. For this reason, the majority of employees in government ministries and similar public organisations are not permitted to use portable PCs, in fear of sensitive government information being leaked."
In terms of vendor rankings, US PC manufacturers led the way once again. HP secured top spot with 30.3% share of the overall OGCC market in Q2 2014, followed by Dell with 24.7% of the market's volume. These vendors have been able to draw on their legacy in the Arab world and create a solid and loyal end-user pool in the OGCC region, particularly in the commercial segment of the economy. Lenovo continued its rapid ascent up the rankings to claim third spot with 21.8% share. The Chinese vendor is aggressively pushing its products into the OGCC countries and has been steadily gaining share with every passing quarter.