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Regional computer shipments rise 4.8% in second quarter

The computer shipments in the Middle East and Africa region witnessed a year-on-year growth of 4.8 per cent during the second quarter

Image Credit: Ryan Hernandez/Gulf News Archives
A buyer at the computer shop inside the Computer Plaza Al Ain Centre.
Gulf News

Dubai: The computer shipments in the Middle East and Africa region witnessed a year-on-year growth of 4.8 per cent during the second quarter fuelled by rise in desktop form factor.

Total PCs shipped during the second quarter stood at 5.4 million, of which 2.2 million units were desktops, registering a growth of 7.2 per cent.

Notebook shipments grew at a relatively slower pace of 3.3 per cent year on year, arriving at a total of 3.2 million units for the region.

“One of the key reasons for this slow growth was the combination of high volumes shipped by several vendors during the first quarter of this year, combined with a notable slowdown of demand from end users during the second quarter of the year. Certain vendors have also exited the second quarter of 2012 with high inventory levels among their channels,” said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, a research manager at IDC MEA.

He said the slowdown in demand was experienced mainly due to a number of factors, including the cannibalisation of PC demand by media tablets, especially in the larger markets, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

“At the same time, political instability also played a key role in slowing down demand in other parts of the region, such as Egypt, Kuwait and Bahrain,” Charakla said.

Price erosion continued to be seen across most parts of the region, especially for notebooks, and this was accompanied by a greater shift towards entry-level models. This, in turn, enhanced afford ability for end users and prevented the regional notebook market from suffering a drastic slowdown.

“As users move towards an integrated structure and mode of communication we find that customers in the region are demanding more from their laptops and desktops,” Jack Lee, Corporate Vice-President of Lenovo Group and General Manager for Lenovo Middle East and Africa, said.

Despite suffering a minor slowdown in volume of 2.7 per cent year on year, HP continued to lead the regional PC market during the second quarter of 2012. Similarly, Dell also experienced a slowdown in shipments of 2.7 per cent year on year, yet maintained its position at number two. Recording strong year-on-year unit growth of 55 per cent, Taiwanese vendor Acer retained its third place in the rankings.

Investing aggressively in the overall region and ramping up channel operations, Chinese vendor Lenovo attained substantial year-on-year growth of 40.5 per cent to climb to fourth place in the MEA PC market. Notebook vendor Samsung maintained its position at number five, posting strong growth of 23.1 per cent.

With new tech projects coming to the fore, PC shipments to the Gulf this year could total 6.3 million units, up from 5.2 million in 2010.

Looking forward, Lee said: “We believe the Ultrabook series and All-In-One desktops will be hugely popular in the region. The Ultrabook has already established itself as the next natural step in the laptop evolution — providing capabilities that make it extra mobile and easy to use.”