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MEA PC shipments plummet by 25.6%

Q2 2015 represents steepest decline ever recorded for a single quarter in the region, says IDC

MEA PC shipments plummet by 25.6%
IDC predicted that 2015 as a whole is expected to yield the region's worst-ever PC market performance

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC market saw a year-over-year decline of 25.6% in the second quarter of 2015, the steepest decline ever recorded for a single quarter in the region, according to a report from IDC.

Overall PC shipments for the quarter fell to 3.3m units. Desktops were down 21.2% year-on-year to 1.4m units, while the notebook segment declined 28.6% to 1.9m units, IDC said. The drop, according to the research house, could be attributed to a lack of demand in countries where political factors dominate the business environment.

"Two of the biggest declines were seen in Turkey and the 'Rest of the Middle East' region (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Palestine)," said Fouad Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

"Both these territories carried over high inventory levels from the previous quarter as a result of a slowdown in demand. This factor was an inhibitor of PC shipments in other parts of the region as well, including the UAE. Currency fluctuations also had a negative impact on supply and demand in several key markets across the region. In the UAE, a slowdown in tourism spending - primarily from Russia and Europe - continued to inhibit PC demand."

In terms of market share, the top three vendor positions remained unchanged from the last few quarters, with each of the leading vendors suffering significant year-on-year declines in their shipments to the region, IDC said.

HP continued to lead in terms of market share, but saw its shipments fall 26% year on year. Second-placed Lenovo suffered a 19% decline, third-placed Dell posted a downturn of 10.3%, and fourth-placed Acer recorded a decrease of 29.3%, while Asus maintained its position at number five but experienced a decline of 26.7%. Once again, local desktop assemblers suffered significantly in comparison to the previous year as demand for their devices continues to be cannibalised by the growing availability of refurbished PCs, IDC said.

Indeed, the research house predicted that 2015 as a whole is expected to yield the region's worst-ever performance, with overall PC shipments set to fall 15.7% year-on-year to 15.2m units.

"Currency fluctuations both inside and outside the MEA region will remain largely responsible for the slower demand, particularly in key markets such as Turkey and Nigeria," said Charakla.

"Low oil prices are also impacting those countries whose budgets rely strongly on oil revenues, ratcheting up the pressure on governments to control their spending. At the same time, the cannibalisation of PC demand by tablets and smartphones continues to hamper the market's performance."

In the longer run, IDC said that it expects the MEA PC market to experience a partial recovery in 2016, with shipments tipped to grow 10% year on year during those 12 months.

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